[EDITORIALS]Explain yourself, pleasePresident Roh Moo-hyun’s National Assembly speech yesterday that proposed the timing and nature of a vote of confidence in his administration at least cleared up some confusion about his decision. But his real intentions are still murky.
What exactly are the allegations against the former Blue House secretary Choi Do-sul? Why did they prompt this extraordinary step? All Mr. Roh has said was that his vision turned “pitch dark” when he read a report on Mr. Choi and that he thought the administration was faced with paralysis. He should have clarified the connection between his sentiment and the vote of confidence so that the public could make a judgment on its necessity. That necessary step was missing, so the public remains confused, and the political confusion only deepens.
Mr. Roh has said that he wants to hold the vote as an “opportunity for political reform.” It is difficult to follow the logic in associating the possible criminal corruption committed by an aide to far-reaching political reforms that nobody would oppose. He cannot possibly mean that a vote of confidence would give him the mandate for political reform, but the opposite result would mean the end of political reform.
The best method of resolving differences is to resort to dialogue and compromise to narrow the gap. There is no reason for him to force his idea of seeking a vote of confidence on people. Mr. Roh has also cited the opposition-packed National Assembly and the media as the reasons why it would be nearly impossible for him to govern in the four years he has left. Does he mean to imply that victory in a confidence vote with little constitutional justification would give him the extra-constitutional mandate to reshape the Assembly and teach the media a lesson?
Mr. Roh needs to be more forthcoming on these issues. The vote should be about the public’s evaluation of Mr. Roh’s administration and whether he has shown the kind of leadership that makes him qualified for his full term. That would be the shortcut to genuine political reform and the only way to minimize public confusion and political turmoil.