[EDITORIALS]A welcome vow of silencePresident Roh Moo-hyun suggested that he would restrain himself from bringing up the coalition cabinet proposal. “How can I speak of the same matter over and over? I will not talk about the coalition government for some time,” he said. Since Mr. Roh began discussing the proposal in late June, the entire nation has never been quiet. Mr. Roh wrote letters to the public a number of times, saying he could surrender half of his authority and step down before the end of his term. The nation has been unstable, and we think it is fortunate to hear, even belatedly, that he will not bring up the idea again.
But we don’t feel entirely relieved. He said “for some time,” and a Blue House spokesman later added, “The coalition cabinet discussion should be left open so that it can be picked up again at the appropriate time.” The woman whom he was courting with the proposal made clear her rejection of the idea, and some ruling party politicians also reacted negatively to it. It is difficult to understand Mr. Roh’s obsession with the plan. Until now, the coalition idea brought chaos and wasteful disputes, failing to advance the nation’s interests at all.
We don’t want Mr. Roh to trigger national turmoil by bringing up the issue again. Reopening such discussions could be seen as having a malicious political intent. Instead, Mr. Roh should use his energy in a dialogue with the opposition parties. Mr. Roh has already said that “mature democracy is formed by dialogue and compromise,” and that “what is more important than differences in policy is building a new political culture.” Since he has already said he would give up some power, there is no reason for him to evade a dialogue with the opposition.
The Grand National Party should also re-think its position. It can never raise its support by sneering at the president and saying, “The sooner he steps down, the better.” The Grand Nationals should think seriously about the future of our nation and work to end the regionalism in our politics. That will stop coalition talk.
Politicians should consider Mr. Roh’s silence as an abandonment of his crusade. It is time for politicians to devote their efforts to the livelihood of our citizens. Economic recovery, reducing the widening gap in wealth and changing the failed real estate policy are only a few of the urgent issues to be resolved. They are matters that need the immediate attention of the ruling and opposition parties.