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[Editorial] Quickly Remove Confusion Regarding Cabinet Reshuffling

[Editorial] Quickly Remove Confusion Regarding Cabinet Reshuffling

Posted May. 23, 2004 22:32,   


The upcoming cabinet reshuffling is now disturbing the performance of government officials. Ministries mentioned as subjected to this reshuffling are leaving hands off and political parties are doing the same as well. The general election was over one month ago. Nevertheless, their all concerns are funneling into the reshuffling rather than into economic issues. The ruling party itself seems to be calling for it.

This disturbing situation began when voices were heard saying President Roh Moo-hyun invited some figures in the ruling Uri Party to join his new cabinet after the general election. Those receiving Roh’s invitation expressed their preference of ministry appointment openly and were even inclined to confront one another over which ministries were fit for whom. They seemed to regard the position of minister as a kind of trophy presented to them in celebration of their victories in the general election. Otherwise, it would be highly unlikely for them to act like this.

President Roh plans to begin the cabinet reshuffling process sometime this week to prevent any stir. However, Prime Minister Goh Kun has yet to express his position over whether he should exert his right to recommend new ministers. Since Prime Minister Goh has showed his will to step down, it is natural, in President Roh’s view, for him to exercise his deserved right.

In fact, Prime Minister Goh’s recommendation bears no legal problems because even though he has expressed his intention to resign, until leaving office officially, Goh can accept presidential requests for recommendations, which is consistent with the “assistant duty for the president” stipulated in the constitution. Of course, there are some counter-voices that claim having the new Prime Minister recommend other ministers to president would be more constitutional.

The first job, however, is to remove confusion as soon as possible. The government should make its position clear that if Prime Minister Goh Kun continues rejecting the president’s request, even though it will take some time, it will embark on a cabinet reshuffling process after being approved by the National Assembly. While wasting time as such, various alternative choices have been suggested, like the vice minister’s assumption of Goh’s right to choose. If those who bring confusion into governance prolong the decision-making process, politics will become even more perplexing.