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[Editorial] President Roh Said: I Give Unwavering Support to Home Affairs Minister

[Editorial] President Roh Said: I Give Unwavering Support to Home Affairs Minister

Posted September. 08, 2003 23:17,   


President Roh seems to take an excessive protective stance toward home affairs minister Kim Doo-kwan who may be forced to step down because of the opposition Grand National Party-led bill calling for his dismissal has passed at the National Assembly. Hinting at his refusal against the bill, president Roh said in a meeting with reporters, “I will not consider the Assembly`s request until the end of the parliamentary audit. And I will give an unwavering support for the home affairs minister.” His remarks seem to be inappropriate given that Kim is a minister against whom the National Assembly has passed a no-confidence bill.

Separate from how the current situation has developed to this point, home affairs minister is a person who has caused the recent political standoff between the ruling an the opposition parties. As a natural consequence, the president`s remarks have added fuel to the escalating political confrontation. For now, it is difficult to expect the regular parliamentary session to go smoothly.

The main opposition Grand National Party has declared an all-out war against the president. Some lawmakers of the GNP have even argued that they should fully disclose all truth behind corruption scandals involving president Roh at the parliamentary audit. In light of that, the parliament will be difficult to act on pending legislations to improve the sagging Korean economy and the livelihood of the ordinary citizens during the regular session. It is questionable what has made the president decide to protect the minister and what for?

The president`s remark itself that he would give an unwavering support for the home affairs minister is problematic. His remark gives an impression to the public that he was meant to help the minister gain the upper hand in the upcoming general election against his rivals.

Resorting to the president`s unwavering support toward himself, the home affairs minister has publicly expressed his willingness to run for a parliamentary seat at next year`s general elections and hurled crude accusations against the opposition GNP and the National Assembly, which is inappropriate for a cabinet member. President Roh has mentioned that the home affairs minister is “a symbol of a Korean dream”. However, whether minister Kim is a person who deserves such an unsparing praise from the president or not will be judged by the public.

President Roh should take off his eyes from protecting the home affairs minister. His priority should be given to addressing the public`s concern and distrust in political circles. In addition, one thing that the president needs to bear in mind is that he is the person who has a full responsibility for further exacerbating political standoff because he is the president.