[EDITORIALS]Accept the court’s rulingFor the first time yesterday, President Roh Moo-hyun talked about the Constitutional Court’s ruling that said the special law for capital relocation was unconstitutional. During a state affairs address at the National Assembly read by the Prime Minister Lee Hai-chan in his place, Mr. Roh said, “No one would deny the legal effect of the court’s ruling.”
We welcome the president’s position that he will accept the ruling. For the last few days, the governing party and supporters of Mr. Roh resisted the ruling to such a degree that it threatened to shake the legal and democratic order of the nation. Now with Mr. Roh’s address, the governing Uri Party and the administration will have to focus their efforts on seeking an alternative plan to achieve balanced development of the nation.
We are sorry though that Mr. Roh said he would accept only the “legal effect” of the ruling. He did not say, “I respect the ruling” or, “I accept it with modesty.”
Indeed, Mr. Roh, as the head of the government, did not offer an apology for the confusion and waste of money caused by his relocation plan.
It will be difficult for the administration, which bet its fate on the balanced development of the nation and the “replacement of the ruling class,” to accept the court’s ruling that stalled the capital relocation. Still, the president has a duty to abide by the constitution. It is not pretty for us to see the president reluctantly accept the ruling all of four days after the court’s decision.
Because the president did not accept the ruling decisively and clearly, confusion continues. Hawks of the Uri Party say they want a “one-on-one” debate with the Constitutional Court judges. Some lawmakers in the Chungcheong provinces are denouncing the court and encouraging residents there to protest the ruling. The issue of the “unwritten constitution” that the court used as a rationale for the ruling will have to be handled by academics, not by governing party politicians.
Some Uri Party members have said, “We need to examine ourselves concerning our policy bases,” and “We have to offer an apology to the people so that the ruling creates momentum for a new public consensus.”
The Blue House and the leaders of the Uri Party should listen to those rational opinions. They should stop the legal debates and rallies. The Blue House must dissuade its followers from more protests.