[EDITORIALS]New breed of prime ministerPresident Roh Moo-hyun is said to have discarded his plan to appoint Kim Hyuk-kyu as prime minister and is finding a new candidate for the vacant position.
We welcome Mr. Roh’s decision; it removes the controversy over naming Kim Hyuk-kyu that would have caused trouble at the very beginning of the new National Assembly term. We also hope that the administration’s plans to name three new cabinet ministers will be cancelled as well.
We hope the new prime minister will be a person who can unify the people and serve Mr. Roh’s proclaimed “politics of reconciliation.” The administration’s former strategic concept, to appoint a prime minister who could undermine the political base of the conservative opposition party, should be done away with. What is required now is a prime minister who can take care of economic issues.
The public is doubtful whether the Roh administration is concerned about their livelihood, and the new prime minister must be able to clear away those doubts.
The political rights bestowed on a prime minister by the Constitution should be guaranteed. The Roh administration should not regard the new prime minister as a ceremonial figure, as past administrations have done.
The new prime minister should have sufficient power to meet the expectations of the public. Here, Mr. Roh’s determination is necessary. If he delegates some powers to the new prime minister, that will not undermine his status or authority. Mr. Roh now has an opportunity to show the public and the history books an official very different from the puppet prime ministers of the past.
The opposition parties derailed Kim Hyuk-kyu’s appointment. Now they must present a framework of principles and standards for a new prime minister. If the person fits that framework, no matter who he is, they must approve him for the office.