Dispose of Roh’s bill quicklyPresident Roh Moo-hyun went ahead and presented a tentative draft of his constitutional amendment yesterday. The majority of the public said it does not want the constitutional change during this administration, but that did not stop Mr. Roh. He did not surrender to public opinion and made it clear yesterday he would continue to work for the amendment. There must be a hidden intention here, because Mr. Roh otherwise has no reason to disrupt his nation and consume the country’s energy in the latter part of his term.
The countries of the world have a multitude of political systems, and there is no one right answer to the constitutional amendment issue. People hold different opinions about what they prefer. Still, what the public wants now is crystal clear. The public wants the amendment issue to be passed on to the next government. If Mr. Roh is set to go against the tide, he should shoulder the responsibility for the result. He ignored the public’s opposition and he cannot be free from responsibility. He should make it clear how he would bear the responsibility.
We cannot help but wonder if the constitutional amendment is truly the most important issue in this country now. The economy and the North Korean nuclear situation are pending issues that require much more attention than the amendment. Mr. Roh also said yesterday he may not present the amendment bill if the many political parties and presidential hopefuls clearly present a plan to do so in the next government, and schedule a constitutional amendment.
However, it is impossible to find a point of agreement for a sensitive issue like this, because all of the presidential hopefuls may differ in their opinions. Mr. Roh should be aware of this, but he made such an offer, which is designed for nothing but finding a cause to push the constitutional amendment this year. It should be up to the hopefuls to decide whether they would present campaign pledges regarding the amendment.
The best thing for now is for Mr. Roh to withdraw his constitutional amendment. However, there seems to be zero possibility of that happening, because Mr. Roh is calling the amendment his “historic duty.”
The next best thing to save the nation’s energy would be a decision by the National Assembly as soon as possible after Mr. Roh presents the bill. We urge the Assembly to make an early decision, although the Constitution says the Assembly must vote for an amendment bill within 60 days after it is presented.