[EDITORIALS]Roh’s new role is as a uniterPresident Roh Moo-hyun apologized for the turmoil caused by the National Assembly’s failed impeachment attempt and vowed to practice politics of reconciliation.
In his first public address since he was stripped of his presidential powers, President Roh said that even though his violations weren’t sufficient grounds for impeachment, he still felt politically and morally responsible.
Mr. Roh also vowed to respect his opponents and to solve differences in opinions through conversation and compromise. It is our sincere hope that these promises will not turn out to be empty words. The opposition Grand National Party said it believed in the sincerity of the president’s words and hoped he would keep his promises.
President Roh is finally freed from the manacles of impeachment, and his ally, Our Open Party, has won the majority of legislative seats in the general elections. The president is about to start what is the second phase of his term, and now he has the chance to implement any policy according to his will. The foreign media report that President Roh is returning even more powerful.
Yet he has promised to compromise with the opposition instead of taking advantage of his new power. This is the face of the president that the people want to see.
President Roh said, “Even if there are times when I will get criticized by the media and my popularity drops, I will uphold the principles and do what I must for the future of the country and the people.” He is essentially promising that he will not be led by certain special interest groups and he will no longer obsess over poll ratings.
We would like to believe he will do his duty as the leader of this country, one who will look after the interests of the entire country and not just that of the followers of his “code.” The president’s announcement that he will work with the National Assembly on carrying out political reforms, by following the National Assembly’s leadership, is also very appropriate.
There must have been many things that the president felt during his time away from the office. It is now up to President Roh to decide whether that period will be seen in the future as having been a time of hardship or a time of blessing.