Go to contents

Ruling party leaders blasted for `failing to show a presence`

Ruling party leaders blasted for `failing to show a presence`

Posted March. 06, 2013 07:31,   


The leadership of the ruling Saenuri Party is under fire for "failing to show a presence” in the course of negotiations over a bill to revise the Government Organization Act.

The situation grew serious enough that President Park Geun-hye directly intervened in the standoff after watching talks between the ruling and opposition parties. Saenuri Party Chairman Hwang Woo-yea and party floor leader Lee Han-koo have been the target of a flurry of criticism, with many asking what exactly are they doing.

Though the ruling party controls 152 of the 300 seats in the National Assembly, it has failed to gain the upper hand in negotiations with the main opposition Democratic United Party or present measures to reach agreement on the bill to revise the Government Organization Act. Critics say Hwang and Lee have differing political styles that coordination and cooperation difficult.

In particular, Hwang is being criticized for providing the fundamental reason making it all the more difficult for the two sides to reach agreement, as he elevated the opposition party’s negotiating power by spearheading parliamentary approval of the National Assembly Act (also known as the National Assembly Advancement Act) while serving as floor leader last year. A second-term lawmaker said, “Hwang needed to fiercely engage in negotiations with determination to dump his ‘party chairmanship,’ but has failed to display stern resolution.”

Analysts say the direct "fastball" style of politics of Lee, who insists on his beliefs and principles, is another reason for the paralyzed negotiations. They say he has only made hardline rhetoric to criticize the opposition party and demanded concessions, and failed to show flexibility in the negotiations. Veteran lawmakers are angry over Lee`s stance, with one saying, “What`s going on with the negotiations and what has caused this situation?" As a result, the party even had to hurriedly call a joint meeting of its supreme council and veteran politicians Tuesday. Critics partially blame the presidential office for the failure of the ruling party leadership to play its due roles. They say President Park has turned the situation from bad to worse through an inflexible stance.