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[Editorial] No More Wrangling

Posted November. 29, 2006 06:44,   


President Roh said at a State Council meeting yesterday, “I do hope that I won’t be the first President that fails to complete his term,” hinting of possibilities of resigning before the end of his tenure. On November 25, Kim Geun-tae, chairman of the Uri Party, pressured President Roh almost as in an ultimatum, saying, “Give us an answer as to whether the consultation council will continue to be united or turn into a neutral cabinet by December 9.” The party’s floor leader, Lee Jae-oh said in a radio interview yesterday, “Once the President quits, constitutional procedures will take place, enabling the presidential election to be held earlier.” It is a public opinion-inducing remark implying there is no problem with an early resignation at all.

It seems that the Uri Party, the Grand National Party and Cheong Wa Dae are waging a “threatening war” with each other. President Roh added, “I’ll do my best not to become a president who fails to complete his tenure,” but coming up with such a remark was a mistake in the first place, because it might sound as if he is showing anger toward the political circle and the public to overcome the crisis by making others accountable for chaos in national policies.

President Roh’s remark yesterday might seem like a confession of responsibility for the political conflicts between the ruling and the opposition party, and as his support rate plummeted to single digit (9.9 percent according to Hangil Research). However this is the result of his grudging failure to take care of the public. Albeit late, he needs to show an attitude of trying to resolve the pressing issues. Nevertheless his tone sounded like “This job as a President is killing me,” implying that like he rode “the wave of impeachment,” he may also ride “the wave of resignation.”

Mr. Kim and Mr. Lee won’t succeed in earning support from the public by cornering the president. Chairman Kim seems to argue, “I am ready to split from you, Mr. President, so do as you wish,” while Lee, the floor leader, threatens, “Just leave the office if you can’t do it.” They need to ask themselves whether they took full responsibility for these positions and whether they feel sorry about the failure in national policies in the first place.

President Roh and the ruling and opposition parties need to realize what they are supposed to be doing right now. The core of the national policy and the politics is to feed and provide shelter for the public. What needs to be cut out and negotiated should be identified in various public welfare measures, administration of national policies and personnel appointments. Wasting the time and energy of Korea for one year and three months until the inauguration of the next President due to political wrangling between Roh, the ruling and the opposition party would be a criminal sin against the public.