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[Editorial] PM Designate`s Apology

Posted August. 25, 2002 22:23,   


The Prime Minister`s Office released a statement yesterday about a number of suspicions surrounding acting Premier Chang Dae-whan. In the statement, Chang said he would never shun the responsibility for his wrongdoing. Natural as it is, we still pay attention to his remarks. For there are so many mistakes and failures he should hold accountable.

Chang had already admitted that he falsely move the address of his children in an attempt to get them to enter a prominent school. And this time he admitted that he did not pay donation tax in the process of receiving spacious lands from his mother-in-law.

He also said that he omitted 971 million won in assets due to the lace of preparation when he reported his asset list to the National Assembly. All these are more than enough to tarnish his morality. Some of his acts might be in violation of related laws.

Of course that will be verified in the confirmation hearing.

The Prime Minister`s Office said that other suspicions surrounding him were not legally flawed. Regarding the suspicion on the favorable treatment from a bank, the Prime Minister`s Office argued that as a result, that helped the finance of the Maeil Business Daily. But it is not legality but morality that the public pays attention.

In the confirmation hearing today and tomorrow, lawmakers should move beyond the party line and approach the suspicions in a fair manner. They should not decide whether or not to confirm him in advance. Lawmakers should not let the political interest determine the confirmation of action Premier Chang. The only measure to decide his confirmation should be whether he is qualified as new Prime Minister or not.

Chungwadae and the cabinet`s pressure on the National Assembly, saying that the veto against Chang will deal a serious blow to the nation`s international credibility also runs counter to the tenor of the confirmation hearing. If a unqualified person becomes Prime Minister, the nation`s credibility could nosedive even further.

The public will be more infuriated if he lies about his past wrongdoing. Honesty is the first step to `responsible attitude`. That is why it is important how Chang behaves in the confirmation hearing.