Disorder in the AssemblyDemocratic Party Representatives Chun Jung-bae, Choi Moon-soon and Jang Se-hwan occupied the office of the National Assembly speaker to demand that the media industry reform bills, which were approved by the National Assembly, be discussed again from the beginning. The mean were forcibly removed, but soon returned to protest again.
It was not long ago that the lawmakers apologized for using electric saws and hammers in violent clashes inside the legislature. It is deplorable to see them pushing their arguments again, ignoring the law governing the procedures of the National Assembly.
Furthermore, even as these lawmakers use physical force and ignore the law, they are telling the public to respect it. Representative Chun, for one, should certainly know better. He once served as the justice minister, the head of the government’s law enforcement authorities.
The constitutional deadline for approval of the budget bill was Wednesday, and yet lawmakers have not even begun to deliberate on the bill. Although the deadline has often been ignored in the past, this is the first time in 19 years that the bill has not even been discussed.
The Democrats went further in boycotting the main parliamentary session, complaining that their lawmakers, including Chun, were forcibly removed from the speaker’s office. This delayed passage of another 81 bills that both parties had previously agreed to pass.
While labor union strikes are condemned for damaging the country’s competitiveness, the most serious and perennial illness plaguing the nation is the strikes in the legislature.
Making matters worse is the fact that the demonstrating lawmakers have already tendered their resignations. In addition to the three we have named, five more have followed suit and resigned, including DP Chairman Chung Sye-kyun. All those who have resigned should at least leave the National Assembly and wait for the final decision. There was no reason for them to demonstrate within the National Assembly.
In addition, the visiting Hungarian president was to meet with the National Assembly speaker on Wednesday morning. The lawmakers’ actions have disrupted the kind of bipartisan cooperation one would expect on a diplomatic and national security matter.
Lawmakers are elected officials. If they resign, it is a violation of their promise to the public. The motives of those who have resigned are questionable since they later returned to the Assembly to stage a demonstration. These lawmakers must return to work, but above all, they must not use their positions for their own political gains. It’s time for the National Assembly to return to normal.