President Kim's TasksNational sentiment shown in the recent General Elections on April 13 displayed very contrasting results. While Cholla and Kyungnam Province stuck to old exclusive regionalism, which enabled certain parties to sweep entire regions, metropolitan and central areas, as a result of the rapid rejection campaigns from civic groups, saw a possible end to hostile regionalism.
Kim Dae-jung's administration must take time to seriously reflect upon itself. A humble accepting attitude would accomplish far more than excuses. The incumbent government has believed for the past two years that it was its low number of parliamentary seats that was the major stumbling block in implementing its policies, and they let themselves become too absorbed in changing this fact, no matter the cost. This included trying out of the unprecedented 'ruling coalition,' formed by uniting with the United Liberal Democrats. The result was far from satisfactory.
If the ruling party again makes slippery attempts to gain a majority, like stealing other party's lawmakers or forcing politically motivated prosecution of lawmakers, it would definitely lead to a serious political backlash and shock to the people. What the ruling party needs is to search for an adequate battle ground that would ensure the coexistence of the rival parties.
Word has it that the people of Kyungsang practically voted out of anger. This could be ascribed to President Kim's unfair selection of personnel. Kim's administration has repeatedly alleged for quite some time that there was no unfair selection of personnel, only an attempt to correct past wrongs. Nevertheless, the governmnt must admit that discrimination in its selection of personnel has indeed gotten out of hand with the recent scandals. President Kim should realized it was disillusioned voters who united in Kyungsang Province and took the election as their chance to reflect their views, hoping to create a more fair policy by revamping the system into something that can better help the people.
The government must make sure it achieves the various reform programs that it has launched without any hesitation or postponement. Reforms in fiancial sectors as well as Chaebol restructuring should continue. Then, there are social reform programs in need of final touches.
President Kim's administration managed to overcome the economic crisis, and its engagment policy toward North Korea is finally bearing some fruit with the recent clinching of a summit meeting. If President Kim gains public confidence, based on the people's support and agreement, he will most certainly succeed in completing the reform of politics.
by Lee Duk-nyung