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[Editorial] Another Veto on PM Designate

Posted August. 28, 2002 22:04,   


President Kim deserves criticism for the National Assembly`s yet another rejection of the confirmation of acting Prime Minister Chang Dae-whan. Despite the fact that Chang Sang, the predecessor of Chang Dae-whan was turned down for the lack of her moral soundness, President Kim appointed as acting premier Chang Dae-whan, who seems to have even more ethical flaws. It is questionable whether the personnel verification system of the presidential office of Chungwadae is functioning properly.

There are a number of suspicions surround Chang Dae-whan. He illegally moved the address of his children, dabbled in property speculation, and evaded income and donation taxes. He also arbitrarily used the corporate fund when he worked as CEO of the Maeil Business Daily. He admitted some of the suspicions and made an apology. But the apology cannot justify his ethical flaws.

Most worrisome is that state affairs could derail in the absence of Prime Minister. Without Prime Minister, the mechanism of state affairs coordination could be paralyzed, and the operation of 35 government committees chaired by Prime Minister is expected to be crippled. Nonetheless, it is not right to hold the Grand National Party (GNP) accountable.

Before passing the buck to the GNP, the government should reflect on its mistake to choose an unqualified person.

The National Assembly`s veto is the reflection of the public opinion. If the National Assembly decides to confirm a person with ethical flaws, that runs counter to the will of the public. But the Millennium Democratic Party (MDP) took a move to boycott the confirmation vote yesterday, raising a question; Is the MDP fully aware of the current situation?

Now President Kim should designate a person who takes the helm to minimize the confusion in running state affairs. Chungwadae should not insist on the unconstitutional `acting premier system`. First leave state affairs to a qualified figure, then designate a premier candidate for confirmation.