[EDITORIALS]Let the court decide Roh’s fate

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[EDITORIALS]Let the court decide Roh’s fate

A claim has emerged that the country should seek a political resolution to the presidential impeachment. Chairman Chung Dong-young and floor leader Kim Keun-tae of Our Open Party have demanded that the opposition parties withdraw the impeachment motion, and Kwon Young-ghil, chairman of the Democratic Labor Party, is calling for a political resolution. Civic groups, which have announced plans for a candlelight rally today, are making the same requests.
They are free to interpret the election outcome as the voters’ opposition to the impeachment. But demanding that others must accept their interpretation unconditionally while the impeachment process is under way as stipulated by the constitution, amounts to threatening to transgress the rule of law. From Mr. Roh’s standpoint, it would be more dignified to wait for the Constitutional Court’s decision.
Our Open Party, which had urged voters to pass judgment on the impeachment, received 38.4 percent voter support in Thursday’s legislative elections, surpassing the Grand National Party by a slight 2.5 percentage points. Our Open Party received 8.14 million votes, whereas the Grand National Party and the Millennium Democratic Party, two sponsors of the impeachment, together garnered 9.12 million votes. How would they explain these numbers, since they claim that support for the repealing of the presidential impeachment motion is the prevailing public opinion? Election results are just that. Generating political debate over the interpretation of the results may boomerang and undermine Our Open Party’s strong argument that seven out of 10 Koreans oppose the impeachment.
The authority to rule on the impeachment is the Constitutional Court’s inherent right. For politicians and civic groups to attempt to dictate over the court’s authority and due process is to erode our constitutional rule.
One reassuring aspect is the Constitutional Court’s solid stance that it will go ahead with a review of the impeachment case, regardless of the election outcome. The court, however, would do well to reach a decision as soon as it can, in order to minimize controversy and the exhaustion of national energy over the matter.
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