[EDITORIALS]Low marks for Roh

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[EDITORIALS]Low marks for Roh

The public’s evaluation of the Roh Moo-hyun administration is harsh. This time, it received a lower rating than last year, with only 9.3 percent of those surveyed answering that the administration is doing well, while 54.6 percent disagreed. When asked to select the area in which they think Mr. Roh is doing well from as many as 40 items, 48 percent said, “I have nothing to choose.” Furthermore, 78 percent said the nation’s current situation is unstable, a percentage that is far higher than the 65 percent that said so in late 2002, when the Kim Dae-jung administration was drawing to an end.
This is what the public thinks, as revealed by a JoongAng Ilbo survey to commemorate its 39th anniversary today.
What the survey says is evident: the public’s discontent and concern over the administration is growing. Around half of the people gave the cold shoulder to the administration, saying that none of its policies were good. The administration will have to accept the result as a sign of an emergency.
Look at the support rate for political parties. The rate for the governing Uri Party was 23.2 percent and that for the Grand National Party was 29.6 percent. The reason that the rate for the governing party dropped is because those who are in their 40s, the backbone of Korean society, rejected it. The Uri Party received 20 percent support from that age group while the Grand National Party received 37 percent support.
The survey also tells why the public is critical of the administration and the governing party. Inflation, the worsening of economic problems and unemployment ranked Nos. 1 to 3 in the areas in which Mr. Roh did not do well. No. 4 was Mr. Roh’s imprudent remarks, and No. 5 was the capital relocation. The respondents also counted the economy, unemployment and unstable prices as the most urgent problems to be solved.
What is more, 42 percent of the respondents expected economic conditions to become even worse in a year, while only 14 percent said they would improve.
Mr. Roh, during a meeting with businessmen who accompanied him to Russia, said, “There are many important tasks. But what is the most important is the economy.” He added, “As I am in foreign countries I have come to believe that businesses are nations themselves.” We hope Mr. Roh’s acknowledgment, even though rather belated, will not remain empty words.
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