[EDITORIALS]Grand Nationals lose their fireBy agreeing to the government’s proposal to move some 12 ministries to the Yeongi-Gongju area, the Grand National Party has all but given up its role as the opposition party.
It lacks the ability to present a decent alternative and also the urge to continue fighting for what it believes in. It was the current opposition party that apologized to the people for its part in passing the bill back in December 2003 when relocation first became an issue. The party explained that it was inevitable at that time, as it feared losing votes in the 17th National Assembly election.
The party’s chairwoman, Park Geun-hye, insisted that her party had succeeded in guarding the capital by forcing the government to leave its domestic administration and diplomatic bodies in Seoul. This, however, is absolute nonsense. Is she trying to state that the opposing party did its job by keeping the Blue House, Supreme Court and several other administrative bodies from leaving Seoul? Would it be possible to insist that by keeping six ministries and letting 12 move, the recent plan is not capital relocation? If this is the avoidance of political conflict that Ms. Park has talked about, we are truly disappointed.
If the Grand National Party was a responsible party and possessed aspirations of getting back into power, it wouldn’t have decided as it did. A well-balanced development of the country does not occur through raising real estate prices by building a new capital. The opposition party should have tried to persuade the Korean people and the residents of Chungcheong provinces by presenting innovative alternatives to pump life into the regional economies and ensure balanced development. Only then would it have fully fit its image of a conservative party for the people that puts the national interest first and foremost in importance.
With its current attitude, the Grand National Party doesn’t have the right to criticize the current government of acting on populist lines because in fact, it is itself a party that acts only on popular lines.
Even with the Constitutional Court’s ruling that capital relocation is unconstitutional, the government is trying to move it anyway. And all that the opposition did was give support to the decision. In short, the Grand National Party undermined the court’s decision. The Grand National Party is now standing at the crossroads.