&#91EDITORIALS&#93A fair audit board vote

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&#91EDITORIALS&#93A fair audit board vote

The National Assembly votes on the nomination of Yoon Sung-sig as the new chairman of the Board of Audit and Inspection today. It is the first vote to be taken by the new Assembly with its majority opposition and a small ruling camp, and will be a measure of how the political scene will play out in coming months. If the giant majority opposition, with more than two-thirds of the seats, decides to act emotionally on the issue, it is a sign that government affairs will be running into trouble, there will be a waste of national energy and public concern about the state of the country will deepen.
The hearing did not meet the public’s expectation. If it was held to judge his qualifications, there should have been questions about his skills and abilities, whether there are questionable issues in his past and whether he has ethical flaws.
But Wednesday’s hearing was heavily devoted to political attacks on President Roh Moo-hyun rather than to questions about Mr. Yoon’s qualifications. Some of the committee members confessed to being unprepared for questioning, and others were childish enough to present Mr. Yoon’s report cards from high school and take issue with his young age to make insulting comments.
It was a mistake for some committee members to suggest after the hearing that the vote should be a political one. Whether to accept the nomination of the audit board’s chairman should be based on whether he is qualified for the job. The opposition, which now includes the Millennium Democratic Party along with the Grand National Party and the United Liberal Democrats, must resist the temptation to use the vote as an opportunity to teach the government a lesson. If it does, it will bear the responsibility for a further deterioration in the political climate and the confusion and conflict that will result.
It was correct for the Grand National Party’s floor leader, Hong Sa-duk, to say that the party has no intention of letting its judgment on the president’s failure and the government’s problems affect the decision on the nomination. This vote must be on the nomination alone and be fair on that basis alone.
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