[EDITORIALS]The economy is the priority

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[EDITORIALS]The economy is the priority

The Uri Party agreed yesterday to abolish the National Security Law and revise the Criminal Code to compensate, and also finalized bills to revise the laws on investigating and punishing rights abuses in modern times, on private schools and on the media. The governing party is aiming for National Assembly passage in the current session.
The Grand National Party said that the bills run counter to this nation’s system and will deepen the split in public sentiment. The opposition party appears ready to stop passage of the bills at all costs.
One side said it would push them through no matter what, while the other said it would never allow passage. It is obvious that lawmakers will ignore issues related to the people’s livelihood and engage in a mud fight through the rest of the Assembly session.
The ruling party’s so-called reform attempts have one basic theme. The party is determined to replace the current leadership of our society. By scrapping the National Security Law, the Uri Party is seeking to undermine the basis of the conservatives. By reassessing history, it wants to highlight the unethical past of the establishment. By revising the law on private schools, it is attempting to take away management rights from school foundations. By revising the media law, it wants to gag the top three newspapers and SBS TV network, which are critical of the administration.
Past administrations have abused the security law to suppress democracy activists, and the collaboration with the Japanese colonial government has not yet been cleared completely. There are some private school foundations that are corrupt, and some media have sometimes been unreasonable.
It appears, at least on the surface, that such efforts are justified. But, the hidden political intent is extremely disturbing. We wonder if the Uri Party is making a calculation that it can make this society be led by the progressives by revising some laws. We wonder if it believes that the political debates over the revisions would at least stop its supporters from leaving and allow the party to produce the next president.
Ideological conflict and confrontation will inevitably grow. Since the revisions are controversial, it is necessary for the governing and opposition parties to have serious and adequate consultations. The Uri Party must remember that its priority is the economy, not political debates.
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