[EDITORIALS]Accept the outcomeThe motion to oust Minister Kim Doo-gwan of Government Administration and Home Affairs was approved by the National Assembly. Previously, we had questioned the relevancy of the reasons behind the opposition-drafted motion. But now that it has passed, we should respect it.
The Blue House and the governing Millennium Democratic Party suggest that they will disregard the Assembly’s decision because it is unfair to hold Minister Kim accountable for failing to prevent the banned student group Hanchongryun from attacking a U.S. firing range in Korea. In addition, they claim that the motion is not legally binding. Even before the vote, President Roh Moo-hyun said that he would reject the bill if it came to him.
These claims infringe on the spirit of the constitution. If the power to propose a bill to oust a cabinet member has no legal standing, why would it be stipulated in the constitution? The constitutional clause should be regarded as a clear admission of the legislature’s powers to check and balance the administrative branch. Even if it is not legally binding, as suggested by some scholars, most constitutional scholars agree that it is.
If Mr. Roh should reject the assembly’s decision, in spite of these views, he would be dismissing the Assembly’s role in politics. Two years ago, President Kim Dae-jung had no choice but to replace Lim Dong-won, the unification minister and architect of his “sunshine policy.”
Minister Kim, who had said that he would announce his decision immediately after the Assembly vote, has postponed it because of Blue House advice. The assembly has expressed a vote of no-confidence in him; does he truly believe his office can function properly under his leadership?
This time, the president should respect and uphold the Assembly’s decision. On the other hand, the opposition Grand National Party should not repeat such arrogance as to propose a dismissal motion with feeble and questionable logic. We implore the Blue House and the opposition parties to handle this issue wisely.