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Ruling, opposition parties should restore coalition for sake of governance

Ruling, opposition parties should restore coalition for sake of governance

Posted March. 16, 2023 07:51,   

Updated March. 16, 2023 07:51


People Power Party (PPP) leader Kim Gi-hyeon and his Democratic Party counterpart, Lee Jae-myung, had their first meeting on Wednesday. It came one week after Kim was newly elected to lead the ruling party at its national convention. The meeting was attended by both parties’ key members including the secretary general. According to reports, the discussions were amicable overall despite some brief war of nerves. As the PPP’s emergency planning committee gave way to a normalized party leadership system, the two parties’ leaders first met under the Yoon Suk Yeol administration.

Kim and Lee agreed to cooperate to improve citizens’ quality of life. Kim said, “I support your comments that we should compete to resolve issues that hold back citizens.” In response, Lee answered that one of the greatest political imperatives is to take care of citizens. Based on the commonly shared viewpoints of the two parties, it was pledged that the “K-Chips Act” will pass the National Assembly this month to considerably increase tax credit rates for the semiconductor field.

Despite all the slogans and chants of their political will to work for citizens, both parties have long been completely at odds with each other. After the Yoon administration rejected Lee’s offer to hold a summit talk, the DP criticized that it made a one-way decision with the main opposition party put aside. In response, the PPP pointed an accusing finger at the DP, saying that it only serves as a bulletproof vehicle to protect Lee from getting punished by law while unilaterally handling the legislative process. As a result, standing committee-level talks did not work out to deliberate pending bills but ended up in a fight. The March provisional session of the National Assembly has not had any agenda confirmed yet. There seems to be a slim chance that the recent one-off meeting can pave the way to coalition and cooperation.

The two parties’ leadership should restore the basis for cooperation swiftly and practically. A flexible way of cooperation must be adopted to process bills that earn bipartisan support and handle politically sensitive proposals. In charge of governance, the ruling party is supposed to make things work actively. To make it happen, Kim needs to use his discretion to communicate with the presidential office. The bipartisan coalition should not be left as empty political rhetoric.