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[Editorial] Putting Higher Priority on the General Election?

[Editorial] Putting Higher Priority on the General Election?

Posted October. 07, 2003 22:54,   


In any sense, it is not appropriate for the former minister of Government Administration and Home Affair Kim Doo-kwan to talk about four current cabinet members, including Minister of Environment Han Myoung-suk, as qualified candidates to join the new party for the general election next year. Although he said he just quoted a source familiar with the party, considering that he stepped down from the ministerial position only twenty days before his impeachment proposal was passed in the National Assembly, he should have not touch the issue at all. In this time of international and domestic difficulties, this kind of remark, even if it was from a senior member of the party, would not be tolerated by the public. How dare Kim, even before joining the party, say such a thing?

If what he said was true, it was far more concerning. When cabinet members joined the new party to run for the general election, we therefore, cannot expect the administration to run the country with stability and consistency. Although the Blue House denies it, Kim is considered as the go-to man for President Roh. Thus, it is generally believed that his remarks echoed President’s mind. In this regard, Roh may become under criticism as well for focusing more on the election than running the nation.

Calling for eradicating deep-rooted political regionalism, Roh left the Millennium Democratic Party (MDP). If it is true that the president is considering persuading cabinet members to join the party and run for election, to some extent, those who criticized the president have a point. If it turns out to be true, while paying lip service that he puts the highest priority on the people and the country, Roh was actually seeking ways to make the party he supports win more seats.

Roh kept saying he would not allow cabinet members to run for elections. The president also said that the ministers should stay in their position for at least two years to execute policies stably and consistently. If he is really considering “requisitioning” ministers who have been staying in their position for only eight months for the election, then what Roh has said does not make any sense.

Those ministers who have decided to run in the election should resign from their post. Although the law says candidates can stay in an administrative position until two month before an election, they may not fully focus on their job as ministers. Also it is possible for them to release populist policies in order to win votes. The sooner they quit, the less hurt the public and the country will get, as a whole.