[EDITORIALS]Third time's a charm?

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[EDITORIALS]Third time's a charm?

President Kim Dae-jung has named three prime minister-designates in two months. Insisting on naming another "prime minister-designate," is simply unsound obstinacy. He made a wrong decision by refusing to follow the constitution's provision for naming an acting prime minister. It is fortunate, however, that the opposition Grand National Party decided to consider a revised supplementary budget bill co-signed by the new prime minister-designate, Kim Suk-soo, to appropriate urgently-needed additional funds for flood recovery. The opposition earlier had earlier vowed to try to impeach President Kim if he appointed another prime minister-designate.

But whether Mr. Kim will be named prime minister is an open question. He must withstand legislative scrutiny and win over the Assembly that rejected President Kim's previous choices because of their questionable ethics.

The Blue House vowed that it has examined Mr. Kim's background closely, but he is likely to be burdened by the higher standards the Assembly applied to his predecessor. He will only serve five months in office, but there are piles of work waiting for him. A strong prime minister is needed to assist the aged president, who is having difficulty leading the administration as his term ends. The new prime minister must lead the flood recovery and manage the Asian Games and the presidential election. He will have to draw up policies on a rapidly changing North Korea and handle many economic issues.

The National Assembly should examine the moral standards and administrative abilities of the new nominee. To end the administrative vacuum, it should exercise self-restraint and forgo personal attacks. The GNP decided not to continue rejecting correspondence from the government without a "legal" prime minister's signature on the document; that is a wise decision. Mr. Kim should now present himself as acting prime minister and let the deputy prime minister work with the Assembly until he is confirmed. He should not do anything to heighten the friction between the Assembly and the administration that President Kim triggered.
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