A wise man knows his jobIt’s said that President Roh will leave the Uri Party with one year of his term left. As the president has threatened to break away from his party many times, this is hardly shocking news. And it’s a Korean tradition. Roh Tae-woo, Kim Young-sam and Kim Dae-jung all left their parties in presidential election years. However, in the presidential system, the president’s departure has an impact on the management of state affairs, so we must prepare ourselves for when he scurries away.
In the presidential system, the president and his party are the leading actors in the management of the state. The president’s withdrawal from his party means there will be no ruling party. The Uri Party is already the second-largest party in the National Assembly. Without the president they become a headless rump. Consultation between the ruling party and the administration will be impossible. When there is a ruling party, the administration can consult with it in order to pass bills or implement policies. If the president bolts from his party, there will be no such body. Thus, the administration will need to talk with the Grand National Party, which is now the largest party. In the National Assembly, there are many tasks that the administration needs to perform in order to win cooperation from the legislative body. Meanwhile, the Grand National Party will no longer be the main opposition party but simply the largest party. The party’s responsibility for managing state affairs will grow. The party should now try to care more about the country and our standard of living.
The president must not use his withdrawal for political purposes. For the president to break away from the ruling party means that he owes the people his silence. It would be a mistake for him to bolt from the party in order to gain support for his proposed constitutional amendment. He should give up that quixotic quest. The president, if he has the country’s interests at heart, should form a neutral cabinet and remain neutral during the presidential campaign. In 2004, with the general elections approaching, he said that voting for Democratic Party members would end up helping the Grand Nationals. For that remark, he was criticized by the board of elections and gave the opposition party ammunition for his impeachment. Recently he asked for people to help the Uri Party, creating controversy. He should forget his illusions about a constitutional amendment, take a neutral position and finalize state affairs smoothly. These are the only jobs for him during his last year in office.