[EDITORIALS]Goh should be approvedFor the past two days, we have seen boring National Assembly hearings on the candidacy of Goh Kun to be prime minister. Mr. Goh replied to questions from lawmakers in a persuasive and experienced tone.
The Assembly members asked him about his exemption from military service and his activities during times of turmoil. “I did not hide when President Park Chung Hee was assassinated. I was preparing a state funeral,” Mr. Goh said. “When martial law was announced on May 17, 1980, I was not absent without leave, but I stayed at home in protest of the military regime,” he added.
His explanations were not enough to end all doubts, but the doubters lacked substantive evidence to support their cases.
Some lawmakers saw Mr. Goh as an experienced bureaucrat while others saw him as a man with no core beliefs who held important posts during six administrations. The clashing views show that the lawmakers are struggling over the nomination. We believe the choice should be made based on the big picture of the new administration.
Mr. Roh has nominated Mr. Goh as his prime minister for stability as he pursues reform. Mr. Roh’s Blue House is filled with former student activists. In order to complement and check them, a prudent prime minister is required. The question is whether Mr. Goh is capable of exercising his duties with any convictions to back them up.
Mr. Goh’s controversial career was not explored fully at the hearings, but he is an expert public administrator. He can surely provide stability to the Roh administration.
Unless Mr. Goh has disqualifying skeletons in his closet, he should be approved. The Millennium Democrats should not intervene in the process with their internal party conflicts; the Grand Nationals should not link the prime minister’s appointment to the independent counsel bill. When the Kim Dae-jung administration was launched, debates about appointing Kim Jong-pil as a prime minister lingered for five months, resulting in instability.
Approving the prime ministerial nomination of Mr. Goh will give the new government a chance, and we believe that it is reasonable that the Assembly should do so.