[EDITORIALS]Party and president at oddsThe Blue House and the ruling Uri Party have not been seeing eye-to-eye on many matters. The two argued over the resignation of a former education minister, Kim Byeong-joon. Now they are sparring over whom to pick for a new justice minister. The chairman of the ruling party has publicly opposed the selection of one person who the president has not even appointed yet. The chief of staff at the Blue House and a senior presidential secretary then publicly defended that person.
In the meantime, within the party, a circle of people who support and are close to the president have attacked the party’s leading members. Conflicts between the administration and the ruling party have been transformed into conflicts inside the ruling party.
If these problems stay inside the party, there is no need for ordinary citizens to worry. However, in our political system, the president belongs to a certain party and both the Blue House and the governing party lead the country. Thus, conflicts between the presidential office and the ruling party affect not only the people directly involved but the entire nation. These battles throw the administration ― and the country ― into chaos and lead to greater insecurity in people’s lives.
We doubt that the policy to support the business sector led by Kim Geun-tae, the chairman of the Uri Party, will be implemented properly amid these skirmishes. The party leader says the ceiling on companies’ cross-subsidiary investments should be lowered, but the Blue House and the administration want to keep the current limit. The ceiling would be hard to change even if the administration and the ruling party agreed to do so, but with the ruling party pushing its own proposal, the distrust on measures and policies will only fester.
Under former administrations, the Blue House, ruling party and administration discussed measures together. Sometimes this resulted in the Blue House having to suppress the ruling party, but it had the significantly positive effect of preventing discord among the three.
The Roh Moo-hyun administration used to have a special 11-member committee to iron out these kinds of differences. However, this system broke down after the ruling party was hammered in the May 31 local elections, no doubt in part because everyone needed someone else to take the blame.
Some suggest that the president leave his party. To do so would be irresponsible. The Blue House and the ruling party should stop fighting, not just for their own good, but for the country’s.