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[Editorial] If It Incurs Internal Strife Only

Posted September. 10, 2001 08:43,   


With the appointment of Lee Sang-Joo, head of the state-run Academy of Korean Studies, to the chief of presidential secretary, a reshuffle of the ruling circle was completed. However, such a change seems to create a stir and aftereffects. It is worth paying attention to how this situation will affect the administration of the government during the latter period of the current regime.

It was already pointed out that the remaining of the Prime Minister Lee Han-Dong, designation of chief of presidential secretary Han Kwang-Ok as the representative of the Millennium Democratic Party (MDP) and the reshuffle of five ministers were far from the renovation of the government or reform. The recent reorganization is criticized because President Kim Dae-Jung aimed at the strengthening of the pro-government structure completely disregarding the public sentiment. Even within the MDP, members are explicitly complaining that it was `personnel appointment without acknowledging the public sentiment`. As we look at the junior lawmakers` adoption of a resolution, which said that ``we no longer want to have the party chairperson who is the representative of President.`` and the opposition against the President`s decision among the highest members, we can assume how serious the aftereffects of the personnel appointment is. Although some of the junior lawmakers withdrew their resignation, which was demonstration of their refusal of the President`s decision, the internal strife within the party does not seem to be easily settled down. People are watching the ruling party`s strife with a critical view.

In fact, `resistance` of some highest members and the junior lawmakers of the MDP is considered to be proper. Most of all, the renovation of the personnel was required in order to regain the public sentiment, which has turned its back against the ruling party. However, as the personnel appointment was focused only to grasp the power during the latter half of the regime, the members of the MDP must have felt frustrated.

According to the regulation of MDP, the president of the party can designate the representative of the party. Therefore, there is no procedural fault in the President Kim`s appointment of Han to the representative of the party. However, the problem seems to lie in the personnel appointment, which did not reflect the whole members` opinion and did not even try to do so. Even from an objective perspective, if the representative of a party is decided through the influence from the above regardless of party members` opinion, the party cannot be called democratic party. How such a party, which lost autonomy, can perform the unique function of democratic party that collect the public opinion and legislate policies?

The National Assembly has again became the small ruling party and the big opposition party. However, it is wrong to think to lead the party unilaterally because the way to go seems difficult. The key to solve the problem is to strengthen the party`s life force by securing its autonomy.