[EDITORIALS]Stubborn governancePresident Roh Moo-hyun said that he would address the National Assembly’s motion to remove the minister of government administration and home affairs, Kim Doo-gwan, after the National Assembly audit of the government that concludes next month. The president’s announcement drew instant protests from the opposition. The president should not lead the situation further astray; he should decide as soon as possible.
President Roh’s view that this motion is the “tyranny of the majority party” is understandable up to a point. But it is only right that he should address within an appropriate period of time a measure that was passed in the National Assembly according to the procedures provided in the constitution. That is the point of representative democracy. Should the head of state ignore such basic constitutional order, what would happen to all the laws passed in the National Assembly? How would he be able to stop public demonstrations against government policies?
The president announced that he would have an open confrontation with the opposition party because he was concerned that there would be still more motions to come to remove ministers. First, it is hard to understand why the president should choose a response that would seriously compromise national governance and try the people’s patience. Why a head-on fight? How does he intend to handle the harm to the people? Our national security and economy are difficult problems enough without picking new fights.
The most deplorable was the president’s comment, “It is not too late to make a decision when the government gets uncomfortable and the people get nervous.” He seems to be playing tug of war with the people and the Assembly over a minister whose days are numbered anyway. The president’s foremost duty is not to be loyal to ministers but to govern the country.
Mr. Kim said on television that even if the measure was unjust, if it were the people’s will, he would accept it. With the public’s mind already made up, the president should not try its patience any longer.