Go to contents

[Editorial] The Roh-Park Talks Should Not Be a Preface for Another Round of Political Haggling

[Editorial] The Roh-Park Talks Should Not Be a Preface for Another Round of Political Haggling

Posted September. 06, 2005 07:13,   


Tomorrow’s meeting between President Roh Moo-hyun and Grand National Party Chairwoman Park Geun-hye is highly likely to be a “parallel meeting,” in which the two leaders reaffirm their own positions on the idea of a coalition government without substantial results. That is because the two leaders have already made it clear that they would not make any compromises.

Yesterday, President Roh reiterated his strong commitment to the establishment of a coalition government in a meeting with his aides, saying, “The political coalition is the culmination of the politics of tolerance and coexistence.” Although such remarks seem to be aimed at beautifying the cause for a coalition government, they clearly show his strong determination. So far, the limit of the parliament under the control of the opposition parties and the ongoing regional confrontations in the political circles have been used as the pretexts for the forming of a coalition, causing confusion among the general public.

Meanwhile, Chairwoman Park asserted in a meeting with Grand National Party lawmakers that there is “no change at all in her position on the issue.” Most lawmakers in the meeting have reportedly agreed that President Roh’s offer to establish a coalition government is an attempt to “reshape the political landscape.”

If the talks stop as a “the tool to reshape the political landscape” for the president and “the move to remain on the offensive” for the opposition leader, it will only increase distrust in the politicians among people who are already tired of hollow “political games.” I hope that the two leaders will sincerely engage in the talks in order to fulfill their shared responsibility of dealing with today’s state affairs.

Above all, for the sake of political coexistence the president should change his attitude of pressuring the opposition parties based upon his belief that the idea of a coalition government is an “eternal dogma.” In this regard, it is disturbing that Lee Ki-myeong, the senior adviser of People Participation Power and a great supporter of the president, sent e-mails to Grand National Party lawmakers asking them “not to oppose Chairwoman Park’s decision to discuss the coalition issue.”

Park, for her part, should refrain from unconditional opposition and provide other alternatives to the current constituency system. She should also heed the criticism that the negotiations on the issue have been hindered by her party’s attempt to “keep its traditional strongholds.” The party has failed to offer solutions to a number of livelihood-related problems, including the intensifying property speculation.

If tomorrow’s meeting bears fruit and serves as a breakthrough to end the vicious cycle of political wrangling and boost the people’s livelihood, it will give hope to the general public.