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President Roh Should First Change

Posted November. 28, 2006 03:22,   


The Grand National Party (GNP) convened a meeting of its Supreme Council on November 27 to discuss whether to accept President Roh’s proposal of political negotiation between the government, the ruling party, and opposition parties, but ended up condemning President Roh.

GNP Chairman Kang Jae-sup claimed, “President Roh didn’t listen to the opposition parties’ opinions when he made policy decisions on issues such as the recovery of wartime operational control, PSI, and the Mount Geumgang tourism project in the wake of North Korea’s nuclear test and consequential heightened security risk, let alone continuing to appoint people with similar ideology to high level posts. He kept rejecting our proposal to hold a meeting between the heads of the ruling and opposition parties.” Kang criticized Roh for ignoring the requests of the opposition parties and abruptly suggesting negotiating at his convenience.

Jeon Yeo-ok, a member of GNP’s senior committee, argued, “The public wants changes in polices toward North Korea and the economy. The president first must show willingness for such changes.”

Jeong Hyung-keun, also a member of GNP’s senior committee, criticized Roh’s proposal and dismissed it as a “showcase to advertise his gesture.”

GNP members believe that accepting Roh’s proposal with Roh not confirming his willingness to change his governance style is like swallowing a political bait.

Part of the reason that the GNP is reluctant to agree to the suggestion lies in the calculation that there is less political gain for it as one of the target issue of the negotiation would be the withdrawal of Roh’s nomination of Jeon Hyo-suk, a candidate for head of the Constitutional Court, which is already nearly decided.

The GNP demanded the withdrawing of the nomination of Unification Minister-designate Lee Jae-jeong and KBS CEO-designate, Jeong Yeon-joo, which the government is not willing to accept.

If the GNP accepts the negotiation, the opposition party itself has to bear some responsibility for the aforementioned issues, which the party believes will not be positive but instead be a burden.

However, the GNP does not want to be viewed as an entity which has denied the proposal stubbornly. The party has left some room for negotiation, saying it will openly review Roh’s proposal on the condition that the government ends the appointing of acquaintances into key posts and address issues such as judicial reform pending in the National Assembly through dialogue.