Broken promisesA month has passed since the new government took office, and the governing party is already exploding from accusations of misgovernment. Twenty GNP candidates running in Seoul for the April 9 general elections have openly criticized the turmoil in personnel appointments and nominations for National Assembly seats. They also criticized the involvement of Lee Sang-deuk, deputy speaker of the National Assembly and the president’s brother, in state affairs.
They are asking the Blue House and governing party authorities to apologize to the people. They are also demanding an end to Deputy Speaker Lee’s involvement in national affairs and the withdrawal of his candidacy for the National Assembly. Because the GNP snubbed her loyalists seeking nominations, former GNP Chairwoman Park Geun-hye said, “They cheated me and the people.” She criticized the breach of confidence and demanded that party leaders take responsibility.
The general election candidates are pointing fingers at tangled policies that have marginalized common people, the largely meaningless reform of the election nomination process and wrongful personnel appointments. They demanded resignations of the responsible Blue House officers.
They noted that public sentiment has soured, especially due to the “brother nomination” and “brother appointment” process. Raising such issues is part of the election campaign strategy, but given that the candidates interact directly with voters, their diagnosis of public sentiment is not groundless.
Park has mentioned the breach of confidence by President Lee and the GNP leadership. During the presidential election last year, Lee Hoi-chang’s emergence as an independent presidential candidate put President Lee at a disadvantage.
He then said, “After I take office, I will march together with Park as a key ally.” This is why Park refused to align herself with Lee Hoi-chang.
After winning the election, Lee as president-elect met with Park and promised fair nominations for the general election. But Park believes Lee and the GNP leaders have failed to keep their word.
At the core of the debate is public sentiment. The president and party leaders must address the negative public sentiment. The president should verify whether his brother indeed wrongfully participated in state affairs and take appropriate measures.
Lee’s brother should think twice about his future for the good of the country and the government.