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[Editorial] Impeachment, Now it’s Left to the Constitutional Court

[Editorial] Impeachment, Now it’s Left to the Constitutional Court

Posted April. 05, 2004 22:31,   


Uri Party leader Chung Dong-young suggested bilateral talks to the Grand National Party leader Park Geun-hye regarding the issue of withdrawing the impeachment motion of President Roh Moo-hyun. However, Chung’s approach is not appropriate now. Chung explained the reason as follows: “Regardless of decision from the Constitutional Court, we cannot avoid the scars and disagreements toward the others, the divided public opinions, and the nation’s energy.” Apart from the appropriateness of his proposal, it is true that quite a lot of people are concerned about the possibility that he mentioned. Nevertheless, he has lost a chance.

The Constitutional Court already made great progress on the judgment procedure. Following the first and second hearing sessions, the date of the third hearing has been set up and, in addition, the Parliament’s Judiciary and Legislation Committee completed the application of 29 people including Roh’s close aides as witnesses. The public’s eyes are now focusing on whether or not President Roh will attend the hearing. In such a situation, bringing out a possibility of withdrawal will likely raise new disputes.

If he really wanted to withdraw impeachment, he should have hastened earlier. When the impeachment crosswind was prevailing across the country and the Uri Party started gaining a huge increase in support, he should have been concerned about the future after the judgment of impeachment then. If he developed the general election strategy of “pros versus cons” on the impeachment earlier and now suggests its withdrawal, who will ever accept his word? Regarding Chung’s suggestion, the Grand National Party retorted, “‘Chung attempted to soothe the repulsion of his remarks of not appreciating elderly citizens, and to revitalize the impeachment fever.” This reaction could be reasonable to some degree.

For the time being, it would be wise for Chung to calmly wait for the decision of the Constitutional Court. Already, many people are worrying about the coming general election because it seems to be too influenced by the impeachment case, Chung’s remarks on the elderly citizens, and Park Geun-hye’s popularity, instead of the candidates’ abilities and policies. The impeachment case at least should stay away from the political stage. That would be the most realistic way to reduce confusion after the Constitutional Court’s judgment.