[EDITORIALS]Party rides Roh, or vice versa

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[EDITORIALS]Party rides Roh, or vice versa

It was not appropriate for Chung Dong-young, chairman of Our Open Party, to say, “If Our Open Party attracts the largest number of votes among the parties in the legislative elections, it will be a vote of confidence in President Roh Moo-hyun.” It was not proper that Mr. Chung mentioned votes of confidence at his first press conference after his election to be chairman of the party. It is not clear on what grounds he suggested it as a standard of confidence.
It looks like an election strategy aimed at winning more votes by relating a vote of confidence to the election. We wonder whether the presidency can be treated so lightly as to be wagered to win a few more seats in the Assembly.
Starting from the legislative elections in April, a new voting system of casting two votes, one for a candidate and another for a party of the voters’ choice, will be implemented. Mr. Chung meant that if his party won first place among the parties, he would consider it as the people’s vote of confidence in Mr. Roh.
Then, does he admit that Our Open Party is the Roh Moo-hyun party? The party has denied that stubbornly. It must explain whether the party’s position is changed with the election of a new chairman.
Connecting a vote of confidence with the election has another problem; it forces people to make a choice without alternatives. There is no problem in the case of those who either support the party and Mr. Roh or oppose them. But those who support the party but are dissatisfied with Mr. Roh, or those who do not want Mr. Roh’s resignation but dislike the party, cannot make their own choice. It is also absurd that the term of a president who was elected in a presidential election could be nullified by legislative elections.
It is not clear whether it is right to relate a vote of confidence with the votes his party gets in an election. It is not clear either whether the president would resign if his party won second or third place in the election.
The election is becoming a game of life-or-death. The whole nation is already in chaos and business activity is restrained because of investigations into illegal election funds and the wrongdoings of presidential aides. We worry that Our Open Party’s behavior shows that its priority is legislative elections, not the economy.

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