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Referendum for a Confidence Evaluation Will Be a Political Breakthrough

Referendum for a Confidence Evaluation Will Be a Political Breakthrough

Posted October. 17, 2003 22:35,   


In connection with the controversy over the referendum for a confidence evaluation, President Roh Moo-hyun made his position clear on October 17 saying, “I will find a political way out of the controversy as soon as possible with each party’s leader after I return from the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting.”

At the luncheon party with officers of the Korean Veterans Association at the Yeongbingwan of the Blue House, President Roh said, “It is not easy to enforce the referendum by myself under every party’s opposition,” and added, “Not to make the nation worry about it for too long, but I will make a compromise agreement on the controversy politically, and break through it.”

President Roh is expected to return to Korea on October 24 after attending the APEC meeting and visiting Singapore as a state guest. The meeting with President Roh and the leaders of the four political groups will be accomplished either late this month or early next month.

At the meeting with the four political parties’ leaders, President Roh plans to re-explain his real intention of the proposal of the referendum of a confidence evaluation, and also urge them to reach an “agreement of the politics” for the referendum. However, it will be hard to reach an agreement because the Grand National Party calls the “prior actual state” of the scandal that Choi Do-sul, the former presidential secretary for general affairs, received bribery money from SK Group, and the Millennium Democratic Party is against the referendum itself on the reason of violation of the constitution.

Therefore, President Roh’s utterance is significant because it hints the possibility of a retraction of his proposal for the referendum, if the politics could not reach an agreement for carrying out the referendum.

President Roh said this day, “It will be acceptable to carry out the referendum without considering my real intention on the referendum of a confidence evaluation. I have not thought that this would be so complicated,” and “At first, the opposition party agreed to the referendum, but it again objects to it unexpectedly. That is why the situation becomes so complicated.”

Subsequently, President Roh added that, “Countless insistences, such as a mid evaluation, a confidence evaluation, resignation, and impeachment, have been raised before,” and added, “So I thought that if I receive a confidence evaluation, the row should be quieted down. But the situation is not the same to what I expected and I am incapable of doing it.”

But President Roh hinted his expectation- the turning of the opposition party’s opinion- saying that, “The opposition party might suggest the referendum if my approval ratings crash down after I finish the APEC meeting.”

Young-Hae Choi yhchoi65@donga.com