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[Editorial] Disappointing Parliamentary Hearing

Posted July. 29, 2002 22:18,   


The two-day confirmation hearing for premier designate Chang Sang is being held at the National Assembly starting from yesterday. The parliamentary hearing is drawing nationwide attention in that it is the first of its kind carried out in accordance with the confirmation-hearing act, and in that the hearing is for the appointment of the first-ever female prime minister in history. But the performance of lawmakers and the premier designate on the first day failed to meet the expectations of the public.

The hearing proceeded so languidly that people questioned the necessity of such confirmation hearing in the current political situation.

Above all, lawmakers failed to do their job. Since there were no new allegations other than allegations that have already been revealed in media, lawmakers repeated same questions their colleagues already made. There were few follow-up questions that pointed contradictions in Chang`s answers. Thus, lawmakers of the Grand National Party (GNP) had to make a list of questions due to lack of preparation. But equally disappointing was lawmakers of the Millennium Democratic Party (MDP), who explicitly took side of the premier designate and discarded the true meaning of the confirmation hearing.

An MDP lawmaker asked what was her strong point, which was not an appropriate question for a confirmation hearing.

Answers from premier designate Chang were not enough to dispel suspicions surrounding her. She continued to pass the buck to her mother-in-law and her secretary about a possible real estate speculation and her alleged inflation of her resume.

It is not desirable for her to shun the responsibility even if she told the truth. If there is something wrong, she has to make an apology first. Her attitude to pass the buck saying, "I don`t remember," or "It was my assistant`s mistake" made the public doubt that she can take responsibility in running state affairs.

The confirmation hearing failed to reveal if there were illegal activities with regards to suspicions surrounding premier designate Chang, or if she lied in the process of explaining. The hearing also failed to prove her ability to conduct state affairs.

The public put significance of the first confirmation hearing of its kind with great expectations, only to be disappointed.

At the last of the hearing, lawmakers should grill over what has to be revealed and premier designate Chang should also give more responsible and honest answers.