[EDITORIALS]A confusion of motive

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[EDITORIALS]A confusion of motive

President Roh Moo-hyun confuses us over why he proposed a vote of confidence on his presidency. On Friday, he said it was because of the “disgraceful incident involving Choi Do-sul” and other issues that created distrust. But the very next day, Mr. Roh poured out criticism of the opposition parties and some media outlets. The opposition retorted, “It is like a man who has to render an apology brandishing a stick,” and “Overnight, he changed his words from ‘my fault’ to ‘your fault.’” If things continue like this, even his sincerity in proposing a confidence vote, an ultimate political proposal, will be suspect.
Refusing the resignations of the cabinet and the Blue House secretaries, Mr. Roh said, “This is a problem of mine, as well as a problem of the present political structure.” Citing the no-confidence vote on his home affairs minister and the rejection of Mr. Roh’s choice of a top auditor, he argued, “Under a situation where the president is being shaken [by the legislature], can you say that the government is stable?” Although he denied seeking the confidence vote because of that, he said, “I think I have to decide to resolve such confusion.” What on earth is his reason for seeking the confidence vote? People cannot but be confused. Mr. Roh must clarify his intention.
If he seeks a vote, it should be the people’s judgement on Mr. Roh’s close aides’ corruption scandals and an evaluation of the government’s overall performance. Pros and cons of particular polices have nothing to do with it. As the president is elected by the people, a referendum is the only way to ask whether people trust him or not. People will accept the result only when the method and the questions are proper.
The sooner this happens, the better. The Blue House and the political community should start discussing the timing, method and subject of the vote immediately. The more political calculations are involved, it will become even more difficult to arrive at an agreement, and confusion will be aggravated. The vote should not be used as a strategy for next year’s legislative election. The cabinet and civil servants should fulfill their duties, faithfully keeping neutrality
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