Empty gestures

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Empty gestures

Violence finally broke out at the National Assembly. Some 300 aides and officials aligned with the opposition parties clashed with the security guards who attempted to disperse their sit-ins at the National Assembly’s main chamber.

The authority of the country’s legislature was crushed by opposition lawmakers and then trampled over by their aides.

While legislators in other countries join forces to fight economic hardship, ours are busy brawling with one another.

The opposition’s act of violence has generated the current parliamentary impasse.

Differences should be ironed out through dialogue, but at the end of the day, the opposition parties must accept the majority rule.

If order collapses at the National Assembly, it is up to the house speaker to restore it.

National Assembly Speaker Kim Hyung-o on Dec. 29 warned that he will mobilize security forces to restore order at the house if opposition parties do not end their sit-in by midnight. Kim chose to give another chance for the ruling and opposition sides to talk. But he has damaged his authority by failing to be true to his words.

After the talks again failed, Kim ordered use of force on Saturday to throw protesting opposition party members out of the Assembly building. But 150 security guards were a small match for the protestors who doubled their numbers.

The house speaker should have acted more positively and asked the police for help as he had threatened to do.

What Kim showed was a gesture, not an act of will. He reiterated that he will refrain from exercising his authority to put the bills to vote.

His dilemma is understandable. It is difficult to kick out legislators who have the law’s protection. The ruling party should help, but apparently it chooses not to.

Based on principles and legality, it is the house speaker’s duty to restore order at the Assembly. The Democratic Party and Democratic Labor Party are crushing the authority of the land.

Never have aides and secretaries joined together to deliberately damage the image of the National Assembly.

What the opposition parties are doing is merely denying their election failures. Leaders of the Democratic Party late last year agreed with the president to become political partners, but they instead turned into destroyers. It’s not too late for them to make amends.


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