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Yoon needs to practice humble politics winning hearts of people

Yoon needs to practice humble politics winning hearts of people

Posted March. 10, 2023 07:46,   

Updated March. 10, 2023 07:46


Yesterday marked one year since President Yoon Suk Yeol won the presidential election. Since the ruling party has been a minority, the Yoon administration was half-complete. Whether the government will become a complete administration with legislative capabilities depends on the general elections in April next year. It is not yet known how the ruling party leadership, which has formed a predominantly pro-Yoon leadership, will affect the general election. Some in the party think the result should not be celebrated, as it may come back and bite them.

Yoon's approval rating seems to have hiked a bit, but it remains around 40%. Looking at purely the convention results may seem like President Yoon is widely popular among the party members, but if you look closer at the results, it is not necessarily the case. Party representative Kim Ki-hyun's 52.9% votes garnered resulted from the changed primary rules to 100% of the party votes and the blatant “Yoon favoritism” involved. Nevertheless, if the number of votes obtained by Ahn Cheol-soo, Cheon Ha-ram, and Hwang Gyo-an is combined, it is as high as 47.1%.

President Yoon gained 48.56% of the votes in the presidential election a year ago, beating the Democratic Party candidate Lee by 0.7%. It was a close victory that could not win if moderate voters did not vote for Yoon. A year later, Mr. Ahn and Mr. Cheon garnered 23.7%and 14.9%, respectively, from party members. Although the main opposition Democratic Party has lower approval ratings due to the current judicial risks of its party leader, Lee Jae-myung, should the less-than-desirable practices of the President's Office and Pro-Yoon politicians go unchecked, the moderate voters will withdraw their current support at any time, consequently tipping the balance that was once tight at the presidential election.

Even under the presidential system, where the administration and legislative bodies are separated, the ruling party leadership should be composed of those who respect what the President's upholds to be aligned with the party's ideology as an autonomous association. However, if the ruling party leadership has blind faith in the President, losing its capacity of giving constructive criticism, it will compromise the party's scalability and will never help win the general election.

President Yoon filled the personnel-related positions in the President's Office with ex-prosecutors and appointed those who were in the prosecutors' office for other posts as well. But this should not be the way he conducts personnel affairs. Just because he has the ruling party advantage, it does not mean he can create a chasm within the party by nominating pro-Yoon lawmakers. The conservative administration needs to value the moderate voters moving away from the liberal party to the conservative party after they became tired of the Moon Jae-in administration. President Yoon should remind himself of how he won the last presidential election and that more respectful politics is a way to earn the hearts of the public beyond those in his party.