[EDITORIALS]Applause for a new dialogueThe governing and opposition parties have managed to arrange dialogue. The Uri and Grand National parties each have suggested their own ways of talking. Finally, the Uri Party accepted the Grand Nationals' suggestion for four-way talks, in which the parties’ floor leaders and lawmakers in charge of policy planning will join.
We expect some agreements to take place in the four-way talks, concerning current issues over which the parties are sharply divided.
Just at the right time, 40 elder leaders of society said they would arrange another talk between the ruling and opposition parties. They will invite all members of the National Assembly to a talk Friday. How many lawmakers will respond to the invitation is unknown. But regardless of the number of attendees, the lawmakers should find it meaningful that the two sides are meeting face-to-face at last. They should reflect on why the elder leaders are eager to arrange a dialogue. They should understand that the people are tired of the endless conflicts of the politicians.
The parties should not exploit the four-way talks as an opportunity to advance their own interests. They should produce agreements concerning the four reform bills.
We believe the Grand Nationals' private school bill has increased the chances of an agreement between the two sides. The Grand National bill would lower the number of directors related to the founder of any private school. It would also strengthen restrictions on re-employment of executives who were involved in corruption. The bill, which attempts to prevent the corruption of private schools while guaranteeing their independence, is a real advance on the Grand Nationals' initial position that said any attempt to reform private schools would be unconstitutional.
We hope that the parties approach National Security Law repeal and media reform as they did the private school reform bill. On the security law, there is an alternative presented by the Grand National leader Park Geun-hye. Also, the two parties may well agree on media reform that will not unduly disturb the newspaper market.
Dialogue and negotiation should continue even if an agreement is not reached within the current term of the Assembly. The bills are not urgent. When the governing and opposition parties show integrity and sincerity, people’s trust in politicians will rise.