Radical Reorganization Needed

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Radical Reorganization Needed

After Kwon Roh-kap announced his intention to resign from the Supreme Council of the Millennium Demogratic Party, Suh Young-hoon, the chairman of the ruling party, followed suit. And since the other three members of the supreme council nominated by President Kim Dae-jung are also expected to resign in the near future, both the government and the MDP are facing a massive leadership reorganization.

The demand for the retirement of Mr. Kwon has been supported by a public in opposition to President Kim''s "closet politics." The president''s peculiar way of taking care of everything himself, with the unofficial help of a group of personal followers, has recently aroused public concern about the stability of politics. We hope that the coming reorganization of the government and the MDP will be based on such a determination for the renewal of politics that will clear such concerns.

While observing the proceeding of things at the MDP that led to Mr. Kwon''s announcement to resign, however, we are not convinced that the reorganization will be carried out in the right direction. The announcement took two weeks'' to come out after it was openly suggested by Chung Dong-young, another MDP Supreme Council member. Many things happened during the time, and some of them gave the impression that efforts are made within MDP to put on Mr. Kwon all the blame for all the political difficulties, as if his removal will put an end to all existing problems.

We do not think that making a scapegoat will be such a feat. The basic problem has been with the pre-modern politics that relied too heavily on personal followers. And the extensive responsibility for such politics lies on the one who made others follow.

If President Kim tries to evade the responsibility with measures calculated to bypass the difficulties at the moment, there will be nothing to expect from the coming reorganization.

It was reported that Mr. Kwon had been notified of President Kim''s intention 10 days before he made the announcement. The messenger is said to have been Park Jie-won, another close follower of the president. There are also rumors that Mr. Kwon will be succeeded by still another close follower. The very fact that such rumors abound indicates the low level of expectations around MDP for a radical reorganization.

If the reorganization stops at the changing of a few names, it will mean nothing to anybody but those whose names appear or disappear. It was also reported that when Chang Tae-wan, another nominated member of the Supreme Council, protested at a MDP meeting yesterday about his resignation being discussed without his own knowledge, Chairman Suh mumbled that "I received a phone call from..." In an atmosphere in which even the top positions of the party seem to be decided not by themselves, but by somebody else who makes telephone calls, it would be difficult to expect much.

Talks about likely replacements are also disappointing. Even embarrassing, because they seem to reveal the shallowness of the talent pool of this regime. We urge the MDP to cross the barriers of partisanship and regionality to recruit the best people of the nation.

We emphasize once again that changing a few names will not meet the needs of the time.

Radical measures have to be taken to replace "closet politics" with "system politics."

The coming reorganization is likely to be an important occasion to decide the fate of the nation. It will make everybody unhappy if it stops at a cosmetic surgery that aims at bypassing difficulties .
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