[EDITORIALS]Aide’s article problematicThe presidential aide for speeches, Yoon Tae-young, said on Sunday that President Roh Moo-hyun chose the lawmaker Rhyu Si-min for the health minister post because the president wants to foster Mr. Rhyu as a next generation leader.
Mr. Yoon said this in an online posting on the Blue House Web site, which he titled, “The president, who plans ahead.” Mr. Yoon explained that the president has been preparing to select Mr. Rhyu for the ministerial post for a long time. Mr. Yoon also said that the president thinks that he must not be afraid of fostering next generation leaders out of fear at seeming an early lame duck.
In a word, Mr. Yoon’s claims fail to satisfy both in form and in content. Strictly speaking, it is the public that chooses the next leader. Of course, it would be necessary for the future of the nation to foster somebody with potential by giving him proper experience on the cabinet.
However, that “somebody” must not be just “anybody.” At the least, there must be a public consensus. Plus, if his or her political stance is controversial, the person must at least have expertise in the field, which would easily quell the controversy. Mr. Rhyu, however, does not fulfill those requirements.
Government administration is an authority given by the public to the president. The president must not take the liberty of giving out cabinet posts at his pleasure, despite having the power of appointment, because mishaps in state administration can damage people’s lives. In this sense, the president must not use a cabinet post to foster a future presidential contender. We cannot let the president use government administration for his political experiments.
Mr. Yoon’s article is also problematic in its form, in that it is far and away from the scope of an aide, who must concentrate on assisting the president. In particular, Mr. Yoon must have considered that a specific faction inside the governing party was strongly objecting to the nomination of Mr. Rhyu as health minister.
Despite all this, if the Blue House says Mr. Rhyu is a next generation leader, it can be viewed as the Blue House’s opposition to that specific faction and its presidential contender. The power structure within the governing party is already shaky and Mr. Yoon’s article is highly likely to make it much worse. From the Blue House chief of staff, to the senior secretary to the president for public information, presidential aides have been fostering further discord, which must not happen.
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