[EDITORIALS]Stay calm as the court pondersThe Constitutional Court announced yesterday that it would hold the first public hearing of President Roh Moo-hyun’s impeachment trial on March 30.
At its first hearing, the court plans to summon President Roh and the National Assembly’s Legislative and Judiciary Committee chairman, who will serve as prosecutor. Yesterday’s announcement by the court created even higher public interest in the trial, including the issue of whether Mr. Roh would attend the hearing to defend himself or not.
Since the impeachment bill was approved by the Assembly, conflicts in society have been growing. Pro- and anti-impeachment rallies continue throughout the nation, and each points a finger at the other, passing on blame.
Citizens watching this conflict are concerned and worried.
If this kind of conflict continues for long, it may lead to a grave national misfortune. It is likely that regardless of what decision the court makes, some in society will not accede to the decision. The court has already said it would accelerate its timetable, and we commend that decision.
All eyes are focused on the trial now. The constitutional justices who will make the final impeachment decision have a large psychological burden. Still, pro- and anti-impeachment rallies keep going on, but they will not help the justices make a fair and just decision. If the justices are to make a decision strictly according to the law and principles, a quiet atmosphere should be guaranteed. Violent rallies and expression of opinions should be controlled.
Whether people favor impeachment or not, they will have to promise to accept the court decision. If the conflict continues even after the court decision, then we cannot expect our country to make progress.
Think of the 2000 U.S. presidential election controversy over the vote in the state of Florida. The United States at the time was divided according to social classes, races, and regions but they all accepted the Supreme Court’s decision and the country’s conflicts disappeared.
The court should make a decision as soon as possible.
Also, it will have to make its trial process as public as it can to prevent any misunderstandings by the public.