Go to contents

Mudslinging between president, ruling party

Posted July. 04, 2015 22:28,   


There is a saying that the only aide who can change President Park Geun-hye`s mind is opinion polls. The result of a survey released Thursday showed that 36 percent of those polled said the president did "the right thing" when she vetoed a revision bill to the National Assembly Law, while 34 percent thought she was "wrong," although the difference was within the margin of error. However, 36 percent of those surveyed said the ruling Saenuri Party`s floor leader Yoo Seung-min should not step down, whereas 31 percent said he should resign. Narrowing the scope to Saenuri supporters, 45 percent said Yoo should step down, while 26 percent were opposed to his resignation.

Probably, Saenuri supporters, many of whom support the president, think that Yoo should step down because his position conflicts with that of the president. Even considering that the poll respondents included opposition supporters, the result suggests that the public thinks that the president is negating the value of democracy if the president kicks out her party`s floor leader elected by the party`s lawmakers.

At a National Assembly Steering Committee meeting on Thursday, Lee Byung-ki, the presidential chief of staff, was asked if his presence meant the presidential office`s recognition of Yoo as the Saenuri`s floor leader who also served as the steering committee chairman. "It is not something that I can answer here," Lee replied. The remark suggests that the situation in which the president openly vetoes the ruling party`s floor leader has not changed.

It is not normal that whether the ruling party`s floor leader should step down or not is fueling the party`s division and have significantly negative impacts on state affairs by halting policy consultations between the party and the government. At a time when President Park refuses to withdraw her no-confidence veto of Yoo, his continued resistance and the pro-Park faction`s continued veto of him would end up in both sides` loss.

If the president and the ruling party are out for a total victory or defeat of either side despite their common responsibility for state affairs, their confrontation would do fatal damage to the party as well as the state. Yoo has come under attack from pro-Park faction members and some of the party`s Supreme Council members putting open pressure on him for his resignation. Yoo does not seem to easily cave in to the pressure. The presidential chief of staff, who said Yoo could meet with the president any time, and the ruling party`s leader should arrange and recommend Yoo`s withdrawal while saving his face.