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Pres. Park needs to take the offer from the opposition party

Pres. Park needs to take the offer from the opposition party

Posted August. 28, 2013 05:42,   


President Park Geun-hye said as a president-elect on December 31, last year, “I’ll become a president who respects the National Assembly and do my best to open a new chapter by working with both ruling and opposition parties." The reality was different, however. The 2013 annual budget proposal, which was supposed to pass the parliament on that day, was delayed to the next year for the first time in Korean history due to the conflict between the ruling and opposition parties. The Dong-A Ilbo said in a January 2 editorial, “President-elect Park should not intentionally stay away from politics in Yeouido. Instead, she has to exert herself to persuade each individual lawmaker.”

President Park said on Monday, “I’m willing to talk to the ruling and opposition party leaderships any time as long as the people’s livelihood is concerned.” In fact, she categorically rejected a meeting requested by the main opposition Democratic Party and a “three party talk” mediated by ruling Saenuri Party Chairman Hwang Woo-yeo by adding the condition “people’s livelihood.” Democratic Party Chairman Kim Han-gil proposed again on Tuesday, saying, “Let’s have a bilateral talk over the political intervention by the National Intelligence Service, and have a meeting for the ‘people’s livelihood,’ which President Park proposed later.” The presidential office, however, showed no response. The public is getting impatient about the impasse between the presidential office and the opposition party.

President Park may need to embrace opposition parties if she wants government bills on the economy and the people’s livelihood passed the National Assembly in the regular session next month.” Although she may dislike “Yeouido politics,” she cannot skip it as the president who has to lead national affairs. If opposition parties object, no bill can be passed. Former Rep. Cho Soon-hyeong, who is known for “Mr. Hard Truth,” said, “What makes a president succeed is not distancing herself from ‘Yeouido politics’ but transforming it into a politics of compromise and eliciting national integration.” If Kim is given a cause to return to the National Assembly, he will persuade the hardliners who insist on outside struggles to return to the National Assembly and discuss national affairs. It is a way to encourage a change of the Democratic Party, thus changing Yeouido politics.

The opposition party, which set up a tent in front of the city hall with unreasonable demands, does not deserve applause, either. The president has to step up to tackle the political conundrum under the presidential system. Politics and a president’s leadership are all about extending a warm hand to the opposition party first and give it some leeway. Hopefully, President Park can take the opposition party chairman’s hand voluntarily. If she sincerely wants to perform politics for the people, she can do whatever she can.