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[Editorial] Diverging Opinions of the President and Lawmakers over the Coalition

[Editorial] Diverging Opinions of the President and Lawmakers over the Coalition

Posted August. 31, 2005 06:49,   


The ruling Uri Party representatives decided yesterday to focus on improving the people’s quality of life, instead of refraining from discussions over the coalition that President Roh Moo-hyun has proposed. Concluding a two-day workshop held in Tongyeong, Gyeongnam Province, the representatives stated, “Economic revitalization and resolution of bipolarization are the top priorities for the participatory government in the second half of this year.” With regards to a coalition government, they agreed to push ahead with the revision of politics-related laws, including rearrangement of the electorate system, to address the regional structure. That coincides with the direction that this newspaper has repeatedly presented.

Uri Party Chairman Moon Hee-sang said in his wrap-up remarks, “Given that the discussion on the coalition has already started, we cannot avoid discussing it even if we would rather not talk about it,” which seemed like a face-saving effort for President Roh. However, a majority of the representatives reportedly poured out criticisms in the discussion over the timing and appropriateness of the coalition proposal. Some even said, “Is the Uri Party the president’s private political party?” pointing out that coalition proposal was the president’s unilateral idea.

The criticisms confirmed that representatives who have their constituencies and listen to the public are closer to the public opinion than is Cheong Wa Dae, which is “detached from the public opinion.” The coalition which the president proposed, although the ruling party has nearly secured the majority of seats in the National Assembly, goes against the principle of “separation of the government and the ruling party.” Moreover, President Roh turned a blind eye to “responsible party politics” by repeatedly pressuring about a coalition through a letter to the public despite opposition from the Grand National Party.

Uri Party representatives reportedly renewed their determination to learn about Admiral Yi Sun-shin’s leadership and practicality which led to a victory in a harsh battle with a mere 12 ships, visiting the place where the admiral served. To serve the purpose of their determination, it is more appropriate for the lawmakers to listen to public opinion and offer honest advice to the president, rather than being swayed by every remark from the president.

It is time for President Roh to accept “sincerity” of the representatives and stay away from obsession with coalition, and instead “go all-in for the economy” as he promised early this year.