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President Roh, "Struggle outside the Hall is an Illegal Strike by Major Party"

President Roh, "Struggle outside the Hall is an Illegal Strike by Major Party"

Posted November. 26, 2003 22:51,   


President Roh Moo-hyun, on November 26, criticized the decision by the Grand National Party (GNP) to enter a face-to-face struggle over the president’s veto of the special investigation bill saying, “The act of them running out of the meeting halls and throwing away the rules set by democracy is what other small opposition parties used to do in the past. That is not an unavoidable act but is in fact an illegal strike by a major party.”

President Roh, in a press conference from the North Cholla area that day, said, “I’m not insisting on not going ahead with the special investigation but offering to reconsider it if the National Assembly can decide whether the prosecution has done a sufficient job or not after their investigation is over. I’ll have to accept the bill if it is passed again with two-thirds of the Assembly consent just as before.”

President Roh expressed his objection to a suggestion made by some oppositional group members regarding a constitutional amendment to decentralize the president’s power, “I cannot say that decentralization of the presidential system is good in principle.”

President Roh pointed out, “They mention decentralization of the presidential system because of abusive and imperial presidents before, but things are not the same any more. Since the president is a national leader directly selected in national elections with the peoples’ votes, it is not necessarily desirable to limit the power of the president.”

However, President Roh has added, “If the institutions can be settled again so that no one region will allow a party to take up more than two-thirds of the seats of the Assembly, I am ready to hand many rights that are uniquely owned by the president as given in the constitution over to the Assembly. That can be a situation where we can achieve decentralization to some degree.”

Jeong-Hun Kim jnghn@donga.com