Go to contents

[Editorial] Presidential Resignation This Time?

Posted December. 14, 2003 23:13,   


President Roh Moo-hyun said yesterday, “I will resign if we (Millennium Democratic Party) spend more than a tenth of the illegal campaign funds of the Grand National Party (GNP).” His remarks reflect his intention of resignation of the presidency, presidential officials added. In May, President Roh had said, “I cannot carry out the president’s job.” In October, he indicated, “I propose holding a referendum on my troubled leadership.” Now, he says, “I will resign from the presidency.”

President Roh stresses the fact that he spent less illegal funds than that of GNP. However, considering the Roh government’s emphasis on its morality, does it matter that they spent 10 percent of the illegal funds that the GNP used? Can we regard his government as innocent if it accepted only 9.9 percent? Regardless of amount, his use of illegal campaign funds could nullify his election and draw criticism for using these funds to increase his own position.

Additional suspicion of secret deals between the prosecution and Cheong Wa Dae are also in circulation. Although the prosecution carries out a thorough investigation, it can’t be expected that the prosecution will reveal the real outcomes if Roh has ordered the prosecution to reduce the amount of illegal funds in Roh’s camp below the standard he proposed.

Now that it is impossible to disregard Roh’s remarks, independent prosecutors should be appointed instead of the prosecution in order to ensure an impartial investigation. Since President Roh also said, “I will accept the proposal of the special probes for the investigation on issues related to me, when the National Assembly introduces it,” it is unavoidable to open special probes. If the revealed amount is beyond his standard, he should resign as promised.

The prosecution probe should be implemented as soon as possible. Even though President Roh said he would accept it only after the prosecution’s investigation on illegal campaign funds is finished, it is too late due to the high possibility of involvement of political tactics and national credibility would decrease significantly during the waiting period.

Since his proposal on referendum to ask his leadership, the nation has been swamped with other related issues. During the special probes into the presidential aides’ corruption and the scandal associated with illegal campaign funds, the National Assembly was almost paralyzed and political performance was completely disrupted. Under such chaotic conditions, it is frustrating that the leader of our nation, who should be devoted to systematically solving the problems, is creating more controversies! Is it acceptable to carry out the presidential duties of a five-year tenure, appointed by a nation, in such a careless way?

Under the presidential system, the position of president is directly related to national security. A nation is anxious about how much he will stake in his presidency during his remaining tenure. It is time to prevent the presidency from being used as wages any more.