[EDITORIALS]Time to work together

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[EDITORIALS]Time to work together

The smooth launching of Roh Moo-hyun's government depends on how smoothly the takeover of the presidency and the teamwork among those who will steer major policies of the new government will be. Before the inauguration on Feb. 25, President-elect Roh has to grasp the overall situation of the administration and finish his own evaluation of major policies, personnel appointments and organizational and budgetary problems of the current government. At the same time, he has to be ready with a cabinet that will implement swiftly and surely the major policies of his government.

Mr. Roh met with President Kim yesterday and discussed the framework of taking over the presidency. President Kim promised to give "all possible support" to him, assuring close cooperation for the transfer. Although President Kim has withdrawn from the Millennium Democratic Party, his cooperation was expected, since the MDP has regained its power.

But the preparations for the birth of the "first Roh cabinet" are not yet ready. If the concerned provisions are not revised, the precedence of the first Kim Dae-jung cabinet, which was appointed at the recommendation of a prime minister under Kim Young-sam, will be repeated. Otherwise, as was the case with Kim Young-sam's first cabinet, starting a government with a prime minister-designate and with cabinet ministers of the previous government will be repeated. This is the result of a law that requires a prime minister, who can recommend cabinet ministers, to get parliamentary approval, and that requires at least 20 days. It is the MDP that is responsible for prolonging this abnormal situation. In November, the MDP turned a cold shoulder to the GNP proposal to pass a law that allows the president-elect to appoint a prime minister before the inauguration, to be followed by National Assembly confirmation. The GNP should show the majority party's generosity. Extending a helping hand to issues that need cooperation is a shortcut for gaining public support.
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