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[Editorial] No More Talk of a Coalition Government

Posted August. 02, 2005 03:02,   


Yesterday, Grand National Party Chairwoman Park Geun-hye denounced President Roh Moo-hyun’s proposal for a grand coalition government as “destructive to our Constitution.” Nonetheless, the Uri Party has decided to officially propose a debate between the think tanks of the respective parties regarding the coalition government issue, which President Roh had advocated as a means of “preparing an electoral system capable of resolving regional conflict.” The Uri Party is also planning to contact individual members of the Grand National Party to sway them in favor of the issue. Even though the opposing party and the people have spurned the idea as “ludicrous,” the government and the ruling party are forcing the issue without regard to anything but their own opinions.

At a press briefing on July 29, just before leaving on his summer vacation, President Roh implored the people to recognize the “sincerity” of his proposal, saying, “What I really wanted and proposed was election reform rather than the coalition government itself.” If this is indeed true, we would like to speak for the people and entreat him to lay aside the coalition government issue and return to his regular duties of state administration. The restructuring of the electoral districts should be left to the ruling and opposition parties to handle according to public opinion.

Now is the time for the president to devote himself to the economy and the livelihood of the people, as he has emphasized since the start of 2005. He explained that he “felt he could talk about the political structure after seeing the stock price index exceed the 1,000 point line,” but the recent rise in stock prices does not so much reflect the current state of the economy as the recent accumulation of floating capital from home and abroad. The country’s financial leaders and experts see this as another “economic crisis,” while the people lament that the economy is “worse than ever.”

President Roh’s advocacy of the coalition government, which he mentioned no less than five times through letters and briefings since last month, seems to be at least partly motivated by a sense of obstinacy in the face of the indifference demonstrated by the people and the opposition party. However, the nation is hoping for its president to put an end to such political machinations and reprioritize the national agenda in favor of the economy and the livelihood of the common people. What the people want to see is not political games but normal state administration.

President Roh returns early next week from his vacation to begin the second half of his term. We hope that he turns a new leaf and follows the will of the people.