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Pragmatic Interests First

Posted January. 25, 2005 23:59,   


The ruling Uri Party’s new floor leader Chung Sye-kyun is widely known as a moderate pragmatist, and new chief policymaker Won Hye-young, compared to the new floor leader, is slightly more left wing with ideological issues, but he is also considered one of the pragmatic characters within the party. Upon being elected, a “successful reform” was confidently promised.

Therefore, many observers estimate that from now on, the ruling party will more strongly prioritize pragmatic interests and integration rather than nominal issues and confrontation when it comes to dealing with economic policies and controversial bills. The Grand National Party (GNP) immediately expressed its welcoming of the nomination, saying that it would willingly compete in good faith.

Will the Pragmatic Approach be Reinforced?-

Prior to the nomination, Representative Chung attended a general meeting on January 24 and stated his political views. In this meeting, he strongly supported pragmatic approaches, quoting the words from the Chuang-tzu philosophy, “Remote water won’t quench the thirst of the people.”

“Macro-economic indicators such as growth rate and price apparently face no serious problems, but on the other hand, the object economy and the lives of ordinary people are in a difficult situation,” added Representative Chung. To put it simply, reviving the economy of ordinary people should be prioritized ahead of anything else. He also sharply pointed out the limits of the expansion policy of budget expenses that have been considered to be the driving force behind economic activation. “Expanding the budget expenses of public sectors is only a short-term countermeasure. From a long-term perspective, private sectors must be revitalized,” Representative Chung stated.

The new chief policymaker Won Hye-young announced the policy line to alleviate the limit system on the amount of investments, promising his attention to focus on public-centered reform. The limit system has long been criticized by economic circles.

Public Support is a Prerequisite to the Passage of Controversial Bills-

“Regarding the National Security Law, if our party had gained more support from the public last year, GNP’s occupying of the Legislation and Judiciary Committee would have never happened. It is partly true that our party was overly forceful at that time,” said the ruling Uri Party’s new floor leader.

His straightforward comment can be understood as saying that the abolishment of the National Security Law and supplementary proposals for the current criminal law have failed to gain the majority of support from the public, which therefore resulted in retreat when faced with the backlash from the GNP. This, in other words, could mean if controversial bills fail to obtain consent from the public, they are likely to be postponed after February. The chief policymaker strongly made it clear as well that if the circumstance is not met, the passage of the bills is likely to be delayed.

Myoung-Gun Lee gun43@donga.com