The United Future Party was launched on Monday, the first day of the July provisional session of the National Assembly. It has been three weeks since a boycott was declared against the ruling Democratic Party of Korea’s one-sided election of chairpersons of the standing committees of the National Assembly. “The operation committee will block as much as possible the so-called ‘working National Assembly law’ of the ruling party, which is trying to build a path toward dictatorship,” said Joo Ho-young, the floor leader of the United Future Party.
With the new development, the National Assembly will be finally operated as a whole with the participation of the opposition party for the first time in the 21st National Assembly in July. However, the ruling party that ignores the practice of governance with the power of 176 seats already has forewarned legislative dictatorship by passing the “working National Assembly law.” The opposition party’s top priority now is to stop the one-sided power politics pushed by the ruling party and the government for their political agenda.
The government’s unilateral enforcement of policies ignoring the reality beyond belief cannot be stopped without the opposition party’s involvement. The government has caused the sharp rise of housing prices by applying a number of real estate prices irrelevant to market developments. Yet, the Minister of Land, Infrastructure and Transport said every policy is working well. The Minister of Justice is standing at the center of the prosecution’s undermined political neutrality with her rough comments and invocation of the command of the investigation. Sharp critics against the arrogant attitude of ministers who do not respect the principles of the market and constitutionalism are desperately needed.
Furthermore, the ruling party predicted that various current agendas, including High-ranking Officials’ Corruption Investigation Agency Act, will be passed at a quick pace. “Please proceed with candidate recommendation and confirmation hearings without any further delay,” said South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Monday. Though it is a message to proceed with them before July 15 when relevant laws take effect, it might be interpreted as a sign for the ruling party to push ahead, regardless of the opposition party’s candidate recommendation veto right.
As the United Future Party is in the National Assembly now, things should be done properly from the confirmation hearing of the diplomacy and security lines. For the last three years, the government’s North Korea policies of accommodating the North despite its provocations have failed without denuclearization. Despite the current situation, the government is trying to push the failed policies once again by putting forward Park Jie-won who was convicted of his involvement in illegal money transfer to North Korea as the director candidate of the National Intelligence Service and Lee In-young who solely emphasizes the dialogue approach to North Korea as the unification minister candidate. Inappropriate candidates should be filtered based on a strict investigation.
The conditions proposed by the United Future Party in the beginning – an investigation into the Korean Council for Justice and Remembrance for the Issues of Military Sexual Slavery by Japan and the North Korea issues – are faced with the ruling party’s opposition from the start. The ruling party’s such display of its power will continue throughout the 21st National Assembly. However, the power of the opposition party comes from the capabilities and efforts of its members who sharply understand current issues and explore facts, rather than rely on the number of seats. What the opposition party needs is to be itself by preparing and growing its power. Stepping back in the fear of the super-size ruling party’s power will be the first loss.