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Roh Needs People’s Support: Experts

Posted January. 13, 2007 03:00,   


“Exercise of the president’s constitutional right can gain sympathy only when it is made based on the national consensus.”

Scholars of constitutions have explained the reason why President Roh Moo-hyun’s exercise of Constitutional rights has aroused so much controversy around the nation. Since every right of the president stems from the Constitution, which carries ‘the willingness of people,‘ employing Constitutional rights needs the process of making a national consensus. And yet, President Roh did not follow this legitimate step.

Lawyer Lee Seok-yeon, who had worked as a researcher of the Constitutional Court, said, “President Roh takes advantage of the Constitution when he would like to enjoy his right and status, but he just ignores the process and spirit of deriving a national consensus.” He also added, “The Constitutional Court has warned President Roh that ’Every trial to employ presidential rights without considering the national consensus-seeking process would eventually harm and destroy the president himself’ when it recovers presidential rights by rejecting the case of the president’s impeachment.”

He said, “The president’s right to implement personnel management is not to give him a free hand, but to have him appoint personnel who satisfy appropriate requisite after reflecting the voice of nation. The president’s attitude to employ ‘my rights as I want’ would seriously harm the spirit of the Constitution and challenge the Constitution itself.”

Professor Kim Sang-gyeom of Law Department at Dongguk University said, “When a president employs his rights, he should consider and prepare situation when it could prove abortive.” It means that he should decide whether or not to exercise his rights.

He added,” Initiatives of revising the Constitution should be employed after considering the necessity, efficacy, and public opinion. Proposal without consideration of these can mislead the meaning of presidential rights.”

Professor Jo Hong-seok of Law Department of Kyungpook National University said, “Issues such as constitutional amendment, which could fundamentally change the order of a nation, need national consensus as a prerequisite, and therefore the president’s suggestion to employ his right without any consensus does not have legitimacy. If he ignores willingness of people, he will eventually be judged by people’s votes.”

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