[EDITORIALS]Save the constitutional talkThe Grand National Party’s idea of revising the constitution before legislative elections in April is inappropriate in its timing. The party is in the center of an investigation on illegal presidential campaign funds, but it has not confessed any details, nor did it cooperate with the investigation. It now seems to be playing a trick to gloss over the matter.
The party leaders who met Wednesday were the heavyweights who won the first to the fourth places at the party primary in June. They should have discussed how to remake the crisis-stricken party and solicited opinions on how to create a low-cost political system. Discussing a constitutional revision was way off the mark. It seems that they do not care about people’s criticism, and we are surprised at their lack of political sense.
We do not mean that discussing constitutional revision in favor of a decentralized presidential system is wrong. The political community can look for alternatives to avoid a situation where the whole country is divided by an “all or nothing” presidential election and all our former presidents have been ensnared in illegal campaign finance scandals. If they bring up the issue now, however, they will not get people’s support. It will be seen as a political ploy to water down investigations and party and political system reforms.
Aren’t they afraid of losing their vested political interest? Are they interested in being a prime minister after revising the constitution? Seeing that both the Millennium and the Liberal Democrats welcome the revision, it appears the opposition parties have colluded to share the power among themselves.
There isn’t much time to change the constitution before next year’s election. Revising the power structure is possible when public opinion is collected and consensus is formed among political parties. Now, as the governing Our Open Party is against it, forcing the issue will only aggravate political conflict and confusion. Choe Byung-yul, the party chairman, and some junior lawmakers are against it, saying it is not the right time. We should restart discussions after first cleaning political corruption and carrying out political reform.