[EDITORIALS]Finally talking face-to-faceA meeting between the leaders of the governing and opposition parties is to be held. President Roh Moo-hyun proposed a meeting with Grand National Party Chairwoman Park Geun-hye, and Ms. Park accepted the offer. We hope that this meeting will provide an opportunity to resolve pending political issues, including the issue of a coalition government, which was recently brought up.
This is the first one-on-one meeting between Mr. Roh and Ms. Park. It has been more than a year and a half since Ms. Park took office, and it is in fact not reasonable that there hasn’t been a meeting between her and the president in which they can discuss state affairs face-to-face. Then the president abruptly offered to give up power to the opposition party if it agreed to form a coalition government. Under such circumstances, who can trust his sincerity? Before blaming the press for distorting facts about the offer of a coalition government, the governing party must first question itself about the offer’s sincerity.
In fact, if the president truly wanted a coalition government, he should have met with the opposition party leader before making the offer in public, but he did exactly the opposite. The opposition party has already publicly rejected the offer. It might be too difficult for him now to persuade the opposition to change its opinion, no matter how reasonable his logic is.
Of course, Mr. Roh might offer another suggestion that Ms. Park would be interested in. He is likely to have a number of ideas. Whatever takes place, we hope that the talk of a coalition government will be brought to an end at the meeting of the two leaders. Any futile, ambiguous attitude will only lead to more confusion. The chairwoman, in particular, must keep this in mind. The president also needs to restrain from making coalition-related comments before he meets Ms. Park. It’s not desirable for the nation to concentrate all its attention on such a consuming controversy. The country has no time for such obsessions.
The chairwoman also needs to thoroughly prepare before she meets the president. If Ms. Park tries to reject the offer of a coalition government, she needs to have her own persuasive argument. If she does reject it, she must do so conclusively, so that the president does not bring up the offer again. We hope that the meeting of the two leaders gives the country some breathing space.