Go to contents

[Editorial] Independent Counsel Bill Passed by 209 People

[Editorial] Independent Counsel Bill Passed by 209 People

Posted December. 04, 2003 23:06,   


The controversial bill to launch an independent probe into corruption allegations surrounding President Roh’s former aides passed the National Assembly’s floor vote again by a vast majority. This proves that, as this editorial page has said many times, President Roh’s veto did not represent the public’s sentiments. The National Assembly passed the bill by over two-thirds of the representatives present. The president should have accepted the bill, even if he has a constitutional right to ask for a revote, if the allegations are against none other than his closest aides.

The need for President Roh’s wider view is stronger when the neglecting of national affairs is considered. Even if the Grand National Party was wrong to refuse to attend the National Assembly, the overall responsibility for the nation falls on the president’s shoulders. President Roh must gravely note that supporters increased to 209 from the first bill passage.

President Roh should now decide to reveal all regarding the allegations. Despite the prosecution’s efforts, it is true that there are still suspicions about Choi Do-sul, Lee Kwang-jae, and Yang Gil-seung. The prosecution was accused of stepping up in their investigations only when the GNP mentioned the independent counsel bill. Some see Kang Keum-won’s arrest as a cover-up.

The referendum proposal must also be withdrawn. The president suggested the referendum at a “dark moment” caused by allegations against his close aides, but there is no reason for this now that an independent counsel will probe into the allegations. President Roh will not be able to escape criticism that he is trying to solve the issue not by law and reason, but by politics and emotions, if he mentions the referendum again.

The independent counsel’s investigation is estimated to end in March or April next year. The “rule of the independent counsel” cannot help but be continued until the general elections. National affairs must be addressed, political reform implemented, and an election held during this period, when hostilities between the ruling and the opposing will be high. The president and opposing parties must now devote themselves to these matters. No more time should be wasted on allegations against the president’s aides and the presidential election funding, since the matter rests in the hands of the independent counsel and the prosecution.