&#91EDITORIALS&#93A sing-together secretariat

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[EDITORIALS]A sing-together secretariat

The new presidential secretariat is filled with Roh Moo-hyun's followers. The lineup announced yesterday suggests that the Blue House is under the occupation of democratization movement activists from the 1980s. They reflect the so-called "386 generation" -- people in their 30s, who attended university in the 1980s and were born in 1960s -- and those with progressive, protest and reformist tendencies. Some served prison terms under the military government.

There is nothing wrong in the new president's filling his secretariat with people of his own choice. He has the freedom to select people who will assist him to develop ideas on state affairs. By creating tension and a wind of change, such choices can also have a positive effect on officialdom, which is prone to cling complacently to its legal status.

We are told that the selection criterion was to find people who shared Mr. Roh's values. Maybe this narrowed the scope of those selected. Mr. Roh's secretariat is monochromatic. Blue House staffs under former presidents were composed by harmonizing different age groups and included those with and without service in previous governments. It is difficult to find harmony this time.

Sharing values will make it easy to create the sense of a single body. But it does not bring needed efficiency and stability. The Blue House will be more ideologically inclined than work-oriented. While the trends of the time require diversity, the Blue House is likely to be dogmatic and one-sided, unable to seek balanced opinions through internal debate. Even before the inauguration of the new government, Hahn Hwa-kap, chairman of the Millennium Democratic Party, accused the new mainstreamers of exercising a "reform dictatorship." If such accusations come from within the ruling party, the worry of the public is beyond imagining.

We hope the new lineup will bring a new direction to the administration. For that, we must concentrate on improving the reality by pursuing truth based on facts, rather than following empty slogans.
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