Clarify recall lawAvote to recall Hanam Mayor Kim Hwang-sik was rejected without even counting the votes because turnout was below 33.3 percent.
Kim has been suspended from work since Nov. 16, when the date of the vote was confirmed.
Now Kim will return to office.
The recall vote drew attention because it was the first of its kind here.
Regardless of the outcome, the whole process has revealed flaws in the law to recall civil workers and the procedure to implement the recall system,
It has created controversy.
After taking effect in July, the recall system was expected to improve local autonomy and bolster grassroots democracy by checking civil workers elected by residents against corruption.
In the past, when a local government head committed corruption, he kept working until the court found him guilty.
The new system was expected to fix the problem.
The hope was that the new system would make the local administration more transparent and make leaders assume more responsibility.
Kim announced his plan to build a crematorium in October of last year and it has since caused controversy regarding his recall.
After 14 months and a cost of 920 million won ($950,000) for the recall, city residents are sharply divided, confirming deep-rooted not-in-my-backyard mentality.
The two lawmakers who approved the crematorium were recalled by residents and lost their seats.
The problem is that the recall law system does not clarify specific reasons for a recall.
In the case of the Hanam mayor, if the plan for a crematorium falls apart, there will be no resources to fund other large-scale projects that were planned in connection with it, namely extending a subway line and building a shopping district for luxury goods.
In the end, it is the city residents who are the losers.
Things are the same in 10 other local governments, in which recalling leaders has been discussed for similar reasons.
The reasons for filing a recall of civil workers from office must be spelled out more clearly. For instance, did those in question violate the Constitution or the law?
The bill to revise the law about the recall system is pending at the National Assembly.
The procedure to pass the bill should not be delayed.