Absent in a time of crisis

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Absent in a time of crisis

Ruling Saenuri Party floor leader Won Yoo-chul will be absent from the legislature for a week to attend the inauguration ceremony for Guatemala뭩 new president Jimmy Morales as a special presidential envoy. Why the floor leader of the ruling party has to go on behalf of the president at such a critical time is incomprehensible. Won explained he had to go because it would be diplomatically insincere if the state changed the special envoy at the last minute.

The National Assembly has failed to agree upon a new electoral map, even though election day is coming up in just three months. The National Election Commission received more registrations from aspiring candidates this week.

But without legal constituencies to represent, the campaigning by the candidates would, strictly speaking, be illegal.

Those who fail to win in the April parliamentary election could take legal action against the legislative and state authorities, leading to mass nullifications in election results.

The ruling party floor leader should be spending every spare minute persuading the opposition to come up with a new electoral map as soon as possible.

The ad hoc National Assembly is in session to review five key bills for labor-sector reform. The extraordinary session that has been called up by the ruling party could be the last one formally scheduled for the incumbent National Assembly ahead of the election. It is Assembly members?last chance to make up for their poor performances throughout their four-year tenure.

Won previously underscored that our country is in a crisis situation and pressured the house speaker to use his extraordinary power to put the key bills to a vote at the Assembly. At Wednesday뭩 New Year뭩 speech and following the press conference, President Park Geun-hye once again pleaded the legislature to pass the urgent bills.

But what is frustratingly lacking from the ruling party are sincerity and persuasive efforts.

How convincing can a plea for cooperation in dealing with this emergency be when the floor leader goes on a trip to Latin America? With the opposition entirely distracted by a serious in-house battle, the ruling party should at least try to do its part to find a solution.

JoongAng Ilbo, Jan. 13, page 30
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