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Both Lee and Yoon promise to build ‘united government’

Both Lee and Yoon promise to build ‘united government’

Posted March. 05, 2022 07:54,   

Updated March. 05, 2022 07:54


Both the ruling Minjoo Party of Korea’s presidential candidate Lee Jae-myung and the main opposition People Power Party’s Yoon Seok-youl pledged to form a “united government.” On Thursday, Lee said, “I will make an unwavering effort to build a pragmatic united government of all citizens regardless of ideologies and political orientation. Likewise, Yoon said in an agreement on the single candidacy with former presidential candidate Ahn Cheol-soo that he will make sure that a future-oriented and reformative government based on unity among citizens helps normalize how governance works. Seemingly, a united government has belatedly become a keyword in the run-to the presidential election.

It is Lee who first set out his idea to build a united government presumably to defend against the merger of Yoon and Ahn. It was one of the election tactics on Lee’s side to isolate Yoon by sharing a vision for government unity that involves the minor progressive Justice Party’s Sim Sang-jung while driving Ahn out of the landscape of single candidacy. It is assessed that Yoon declared his plan to ensure a united government along with change of regime following his successful merger with Ahn for the same reason as Yoon. This explains why he started speaking up for a united government against Lee’s attempts to besiege him.

Desirably, the main presidential candidates have started competing for a united government, albeit late, although they have come under criticism for lacking in future-oriented discourses and views of our time. Virtually, whoever will be elected president is highly likely to represent only half of the nation as Lee and Yoon are considered the two final electable candidates. Not only the political arena but also voters are divided deeply in two amid the fiercely growing political battle across the nation. Aside from talking of their election strategies, we should hope a united government to become a reality for the sake of win-win situations and comprehensive governance.

Although Lee and Yoon seem confident about their pledge, they only vaguely tell voters how to make it come true. Reportedly, Lee proposed to Ahn, Sim and even Woori Republican Party’s candidate Cho Won-jin that they should combine forces for victory. This only raises vagueness around on what philosophy and value Lee tries to merge various groups and include them in the cabinet if he takes control of governance. Also, Yoon has not provided any clear view of what kind of a united government he is dreaming of as it is doubtful that he can realize a united government if the PPP merges with People Party right after the election.


Many of former presidents also promised to ensure unity during their candidacy, which only turned out to be empty words. For this election season, here came a united government. It should not be left undelivered. To help voters make a well-informed decision, Lee and Yoon should detail what they mean by a united government to clarify how to adopt a responsible prime minister system; whom to appoint regardless of political leaning; how to reflect opinions both from the ruling and opposition parties; etc. until the election day arrives.