[EDITORIALS]An exercise in futility

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[EDITORIALS]An exercise in futility

Is the political condition of President Kim Dae-jung a repeat of ill-managed affairs and experimentation? The exceptional bid to appoint the first woman as prime minister by nominating Chang Sang has failed due to the dissent within the National Assembly. The newest experiment is of a "CEO in his 50s."

Chang Dae-whan, the president of the Maeil Business Newspaper, is the second youngest prime minister nominee in Korean history. The youngest was Kim Jong-pil, who was named prime minister in 1971 at the age of 45. However, Mr. Chang is still only a nominee.

There have been repeated calls to do away with the designate system, which has been found unconstitutional by prominent constitutional specialists in academia. It is against the spirit of constitutionally designated procedure to seek the National Assembly's approval by holding a personnel review and the plenary vote. The majority opinion is that by interpreting the law more positively, with the deputy premier entrusted with the duties of the prime minister until the nominee is approved by the National Assembly, the controversy over constitutionality can be avoided.

Inescapably, we must conclude that the "nominee" system can no longer stand as a constitutional tradition.

However, President Kim Dae-jung has created an administrative vacancy, and he has raised the question of constitutionality again by appointing Chang Dae-whan as another prime minister designate.

Such a repeat of a situation that has caused so much commotion is difficult to understand. The legal friction and political criticism only damage the political institution and causes instability.

"A person possessing energetic leadership in a globalized world" is how the government described Mr. Chang. However, excessive tenacity for the nominee system may cause the administration to overlook the advantages of Mr. Chang's young age and freshness. Such persistence, which, as we have seen, can lead to political losses, may only be considered unyielding pride in the face of the end of a political term.

A laborious dispute over the nominee during a new personnel hearing is a waste of the state's administrative capital.
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