[EDITORIALS]Let impeachment review proceed

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[EDITORIALS]Let impeachment review proceed

Chairman Chung Dong-young of Our Open Party yesterday proposed a meeting with chairwoman Park Geun-hye of the Grand National Party to discuss repealing the impeachment motion against President Roh Moo-hyun. It is questionable whether the impeachment can be repealed when the idea itself is subject to differing legal interpretations, and as campaigning for the April 15 legislative elections is under way. At a glance, Mr. Chung’s proposal comes across as a strategy to highlight the impeachment as a campaign issue. But it is obvious what Our Open Party is thinking.
The authority to rule on the impeachment does not lie with party leaders. Article 111 of the constitution stipulates that it is the duty of the Constitutional Court to decide on the impeachment. Proposing yet another discussion of repealing the motion renders the National Assembly and the Constitutional Court weak and is an insult to the independent constitutional organizations.
Mr. Chung said that the legal process under way at the Constitutional Court should proceed. What he means is that the governing camp first aims to mete out a political death sentence for the parliament-initiated impeachment, and then let the Constitutional Court reaffirm that the impeachment does not rest on sufficient legal grounds. This can be taken as an attempt to influence the Constitutional Court’s final decision.
The motive behind his proposal is dubious. He is mired in a political pit for having said that voters in their 60s and 70s should stay home and not vote. Thus, his proposal may seem like an attempt to water down the fierce criticism thrown his way.
The Blue House’s seconding of Mr. Chung’s proposal, calling it “King Solomon’s solution,” is highly inappropriate. The Blue House, along with Mr. Roh, should keep a low profile.
Our Open Party and the Blue House should not, in any way, hinder the court’s review of the impeachment. If political considerations should stop the court’s process, the right to impeach the president, as provided by the constitution, will become dead in the background of Korea’s strong presidency. Our Open Party and the Blue House should quietly await the Constitutional Court’s decision.
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