[EDITORIALS]Call for a national referendumFor various reasons, it is regrettable that the governing and opposition parties passed the special administrative city bill in the National Assembly. It is regrettable that such an important bill, which can be considered a bill for a de-facto division of the nation’s capital, was approved amid hurled name plates and yells and curses between lawmakers. It is also regrettable that the bill’s contents neglect its original intent of balanced development of the nation. In addition, it is regrettable that the governing and opposition party lawmakers are prepared to risk tearing apart the capital in order to dodge the Constitutional Court’s ruling that the move of the capital is illegal. We also regret the Grand National Party’s blind egoism in giving up its role of checking the governing party as the opposition for the sake of votes in Chungcheong provinces. So we want to ask who on earth the bill is for and what on earth the bill intends.
We are not raising questions about the legislature’s authority over legislation. But the legislature, which speaks for the people’s opinions, should not ignore public consensus. It was the intent of the Constitutional Court’s ruling that the law was unconstitutional and the court’s authority is recognized because of the need for such a ruling.
Seen from this logic, it is difficult to say, in view of the fact that it has passed the Assembly in the absence of national consensus on building an administrative city, that the bill on the special administrative city has eliminated all unconstitutional elements that the capital move law had, although the process of its passage was flawless.
Accordingly, some insist that the new administrative city bill should be called before the judgment of the Constitutional Court on whether the bill is in accordance with the Constitution. And some insist that the bill should be decided by a referendum.
So, the governing party, the opposition party or the government should not hurry to build an administrative city. It is necessary for them to go through a process of getting the consent of the people on the bill that has passed the Assembly, even if it is the reverse of the usual order. And the opinions of the judiciary and academia are important as the basic material for judgement when seeking public consent.
The opponents of the bill insist that the division of the capital should not be conducted according to political purposes. The politicians should dissolve such worries first.