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[Editorial] DJ`s Obstinacy Courts Vacuum in State Affair.

[Editorial] DJ`s Obstinacy Courts Vacuum in State Affair.

Posted September. 06, 2002 23:11,   


It is reported that the selection of the next prime minister has been delayed. It is nothing wrong to be careful, but it seems that the vacuum period in state affairs is too long. Many people noted that one of the reasons the government fails to take prompt flood-relief measures is the absence of prime minister. But still the Presidential office of Chungwadae is not aware of the seriousness of the situation.

Chungwadae explained that those who have an eye on premiership have too many problems and those who have few problems fear facing an uphill battle of the parliamentary confirmation hearing. But such an explanation shows that Chungwadae lack sense of reality. While the main reason behind the prolonged selection is President Kim Dae-jung`s insistence on the acting premier system, Chungwadae is just complaining about the difficulty in selecting a right person. It even appears that Chungwadae tries to pass the buck to the confirmation hearing.

Now it seems meaningless to debate whether to appoint acting premier or to entrust deputy prime minister with the power of premier. Despite the public consensus that the latter is more desirable in order to minimize the vacuum in state affairs, President Kim does not seem to give in. For its part, Chungwadae does not seem to have much concern about the matter unlike in the past, when it put pressure on the National Assembly, citing the possible decline in the national credibility and destabilization in state affairs.

It seems that the President does not feel uncomfortable with the status quo without prime minister, raising suspicion that the President might finish his tenure without prime minister if things do not proceed smoothly.

But it is very dangerous idea. The constitutional rights empowered to prime minister is very huge and important. The rights of prime minister have far more significance in emergent situations than in ordinary times.

And the government is required to stay alert in the transitional period as in emergent situations. President Kim is expected to leave the country from Sep 20 to Sep 26 to attend the ASEM meeting in Copenhagen, Denmark. Thus it is all the more urgent to appoint the next prime minister.