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[Editorial] Which Is More Reasonable: Presidential Office or Professor Choi?

[Editorial] Which Is More Reasonable: Presidential Office or Professor Choi?

Posted September. 05, 2005 07:06,   


Choi Jang-jip, a professor at Korea University, criticized President Roh‘s way of conducting state affairs in his revised book titled “Democracy after Democratization”.

He said that the government’s inability to solve major social and economic issues and underdevelopment of party politics were the core reasons behind Korea’s crisis in its democracy after democratization. He pointed out that President Roh was exaggerating regionalism as a top priority, which should be eliminated even though the legacy of the past dictatorship has largely dwindled, it can be a political alibi with another intention.

Professor Choi said that President Roh avoided face-to-face confrontation with the fundamental reasons behind social conflicts and divisions that exist in reality. He warned that the president’s attitude with which president Roh denied party politics and stressed a leader’s determination beyond democratic principles will result in weakening democracy.

Some have also pointed that President Roh’s unreasonable proposal of a coalition government was intended to pass the buck on the inability and policy failure of the government. What is disturbing is that the government is trying to give the public a lecture even though public opposition against the proposal continues.

The presidential secretary for public relations, Cho Ki-sook, brought about public anger by saying that the public remained fascinated by dictatorial culture although its president was in the 21st century. In addition, she defended the proposal of a coalition government, saying the public was not always reasonable on a television debate program on September 1. She even insisted that the approval rating for President Roh is reported only when was it low. After President Roh said a president should not always follow and accept public opinion, the presidential office is denying public opinion.

Under the circumstances, those who remain in the dictatorial past are not the public but the president himself and his staff. Professor Choi’s warning of the potential and the resources that have supported Korean democracy depleting is worth heeding.