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[Editorial] Expectations for Lee’s Transition Committee

[Editorial] Expectations for Lee’s Transition Committee

Posted December. 26, 2007 04:14,   


South Korean President-elect Lee Myung-bak nominated Lee Kyung-sook, the president of Sookmyung Women’s University, as the chairperson of Presidential Transition Committee, and Kim Hyung-o, a former head of the campaign committee of the Grand National Party, as the vice chairman yesterday.

The president-elect will consult with Lee and Kim to name committee members who will take over the work of the current administration. We hope that they will choose the best men for the job because the plans of the transition committee will decide the future of the new administration over the next five years.

The appointment of Lee is no wonder. The president of Sookmyung Women’s University, who was directly elected four times in a row, has brought about changes, successfully implemented reforms, and shown CEO-like leadership. Her qualities give us hope that she will lead the committee successfully as well. The nomination of Kim, a reasonable politician and a four-time lawmaker, adds stability to the committee.

They must feel a heavy responsibility. Moreover, they should be careful in the takeover process because Korea has swung back to the right after ten years. The committee members should not be overwhelmed by the arguments of public officials, and they should not undermine the stability of officialdom. If necessary, Lee must strictly monitor the work of committee members.

While they should try to maintain the consistency of policies, they should evaluate the successes and failures of the Roh administration to take lessons for the new administration to heart. They also should block any lobbying from the election camp for a position in a new government, forming cliques, and flattery among public servants.

As the president-elect promised a “small but efficient” government, the takeover committee should restructure the government wisely. Time is running out because the “Government Restructuring Law” should be revised before his term begins on February 25, 2008. There is no doubt that public officials, as well as the current ruling party, will fiercely oppose the change. In the worst-case scenario, when the revision is delayed, ministers and deputy ministers will be appointed in the format of the current administration, and the president should reorganize the government when his term starts. Such a thing should not happen in the new administration.

Whether Korea will be taken to a new level now depends upon the work of the transition committee.