Get to work, GNPThe Grand National Party won a landslide victory over the United Democratic Party in yesterday’s legislative elections. As of 9 p.m. yesterday, the GNP won around 160 seats while the UDP secured some 80 seats. The number of seats that the GNP won is a record in the six general elections since the country became a democracy in 1987.
All the former ruling parties did their best to get 150 seats, which is a majority in the National Assembly, but it happened only once. In 2004, then President Roh Moo-hyun’s Uri Party won a majority in the legislature. The Uri Party got 152 seats but that was mostly due to the near-impeachment of the former president. There was no fallout of that kind this year, but the GNP still secured more than 160 seats. The only explanation is that the people want to give more support to the new Lee Myung-bak administration.
Just four years ago the Uri Party held 152 seats, but a new party that succeeded the Uri Party this time got about 80 seats, slightly more than half of what it used to have. The GNP used to have 121 seats and now it has earned about 40 additional seats.
It is confirmed once again that public opinion is strict and the people are not afraid to express their anger. The GNP and the UDP must accept the election results humbly and try to read public opinion expressed by the election results.
The public support for the ruling GNP is the same as an order to the party to revive the economy. It means that people think it’s urgent not to keep the ruling party in check but to revive the economy. The people elected the candidate of the GNP as president and gave the party a majority in the National Assembly. Thus, the people won’t be patient if the party makes excuses and says it can’t do what it intends because it faces strong opposition. The people supported the ruling party to the maximum degree when it took office recently. The ruling party must not forget that the public will ask for accountability from them later. The ruling party has lots of work ahead: It must revive the economy, increase jobs, control commodity prices and deregulate and reform public corporations.
This is the most important mandate from the people. For this to happen, as soon as the 18th National Assembly starts, President Lee should work on a law to lift the ban on the total amount of investment. Also, they must ease regulations regarding factory construction in the metro area and on bank regulations that separate industrial and financial capital.