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Early Reform of Blue House and Cabinet

Posted October. 16, 2003 22:32,   


On October 16, Chairman of People’s Participatory United New Party, Kim Keun-tae, called for an early reappointment of Blue House staff and cabinet members saying, “Although President Roh has promised he will reform the government system after the vote of confidence, if there is an area in need of reform, it is advisable that it does not wait until after the vote of confidence.”

Chairman Kim criticized the Blue House advisors and cabinet members at the floor speech saying, “(Related to the recent national affairs,) the public is giving a cold shoulder to the political circle. The Blue House secretaries, whose job is to assist the president, need to feel responsible for the current situation and the fact that they submitted the letter of resignation does not free them from that responsibility.”

Such remarks by Kim comes from the same vein as the assertion of The Presidential Commission on Policy Planning to reappoint the Blue House staff (Dong-A Daily, Oct. 16th, A5), so attention goes to Roh’s response.

In response to this remark, Millennium Democratic Party’s spokesperson, Yu Jong-pil claimed, “The argument clearly shows that the government and the president are admitting the failure of national governance. It is like crying over spilt milk.” He added, “The new party should help the Roh administration that has neither direction nor consistency to assess the current crisis from the people’s perspective.”

However, the Blue House spokesperson, Yoon Tae-young said, “President Roh has already pledged his commitment to reform his administration after holding the vote of confidence in December, so there is no more comment I can add.” He added, “No one (in the Blue House), including the Chief of Staff is so ardently attached to their positions that they would be reluctant to give them up.”

In the mean time, Chairman Kim suggested in his speech to consider making “special law on political funds” that requires politicians to disclose how much money they received and how they used the money. He also suggested swift reform on election system.

Related to the three opposing parties’ negative stance on people’s vote of confidence and their claim to conduct National Assembly and the special prosecution’s investigation on scandals surrounding Roh’s aides, Chairman Kim criticized that they are showing “extreme swaying by the parties’ interests.” To the three opposing parties’ coalition he said, “How can parties with different roots cooperate? This is the second version of three-party collusion. We will strongly oppose the new dominating force of the National Assembly.”

Along with this, he strongly insisted on the people’s vote saying, “As President Roh’s suggestion, we need to go forth with December 15th people’s vote of confidence because it is what majority of the people want.”

Surrounding the inspection of SK bribery case, Chairman Kim urged, “Strict investigation on the suspicion surrounding the bribery case of former President’s Secretary Choi Do-sul must take place so that the truth can be revealed to the people.” He added, “The prosecution needs to put in their best efforts in investigating the Grand National Party’s Choi Don-woong case.”

Sung-Won Park swpark@donga.com