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Conservative Party Proposes ‘Inclusive Politics’

Posted January. 31, 2008 07:07,   


“I will bring about responsible politics by enhancing policy-centered agreements between political parties and the government. I will realize inclusive politics where minority opinions are respected.”

The floor leader of the conservative Grand National Party, Ahn Sang-soo, also proposed “Korean-style tolerance that pays heed to others.”

Speaking at a negotiation body meeting yesterday at the National Assembly, he said modernization of parliament needs to coincide with the launch of the new government for the sake of practicality.

Ahn also pledged an end to politics plagued with filibusters and rush jobs, and that his party will take the lead in persuading its opponents.

The floor leader called the election of Lee Myung-bak an “election revolution,” and that for a smooth launch of his government, cooperation from the opposition is needed.

“Lee’s unprecedented and unexpected victory with 5.3 million more votes than the runner-up was a clear choice of the people, who judged the incumbent government as incompetent and self-defeating,” Ahn said. “So the presidential election was an election reform by the people’s own hands.”

“The Grand National Party and the Lee administration will pursue practical reform. There is no room for ideology and empty rhetoric. We will put a premium on results and prioritize and plan thoroughly to put what we say into practice.”

Ahn urged opposition parties to cooperate with the government reform plan, saying “What the incoming government pursues should not be delayed because of parliamentary mistakes or partisan politics.”

On President Roh’s hint at vetoing the government reform bill, Ahn said, “The reform plan runs counter to what the president thinks, and he tries to put up stumbling blocks. This is abuse of power and flies in the face of political ethics. The president should respect the people’s choice in the election and the decision of parliament.”

Turning to bills on jobs to be dealt with by the 17th National Assembly, he said, “I will do my best to ratify the free trade agreement with the U.S., enact a public safety bill for disasters such as the recent oil spill, revise political laws ahead of the April general elections, pass a taxi LNG bill, and exempt the disabled from excise tax when buying vehicles.”

Ahn gave a failing grade to the outgoing government, though admitting its achievements in alleviating authoritarianism and advancing clean politics. “The incumbent government further divided the nation by taking sides in the name of reforms,” he said. “It disregarded the Constitution and let law and order disintegrate. Its unprofessional running of national affairs made things worse and seriously hurt the people’s pride, marking a lost decade.”

On policy toward North Korea, he said, “Unprincipled appeasement policy towards North Korea has only escalated conflict in the South.”

He concluded by saying, “The people elected the Lee Myung-bak government but without legislative support, we can hardly get any work done. Winning a majority in the National Assembly can give stability to running state affairs. So we ask for the people’s support in the 18th general elections.”