[Letter to the editor]Korea can learn from France

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[Letter to the editor]Korea can learn from France

With President Roh Moo-hyun finishing his term at the end of this year, Korea is facing a critical turning point. Yet, it is still struggling to find a clear path to reform. The Grand National Party, whose candidate is expected to be the next president, is also still in chaos internally, unable to get Park Geun-hye’s supporters, who lost at the Aug. 19 party primary, to cooperate. The president continues to make abrupt and self-righteous statements, and the United New Democratic Party is no exception. Korea should put an end to the seemingly endless squabbles between parties and politicians and start caring about real problems faced by our nation.
In this regard, France is a good role model for South Korea, especially the way its new administration has been recruiting staff. The conservative new president, Nicolas Sarkozy, began to change France as soon as he was sworn in. He has been recruiting men and women of talent, regardless of party affiliation. The move predictably irritated the opposition Socialists, but it struck at the biggest stumbling block to successful government in a democracy ― the difficulty in getting political majorities on controversial issues.
Realizing such importance, the new administration should compromise with the opposition party and recruit officials by their ability and passion to reform the country, rather than ideology or relationships.
Yang Ji-yeon, a senior student at Hankuk Academy of Foreign Studies
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