Time for Lee to act

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Time for Lee to act

The Grand National Party, which is in charge of state affairs and should provide a breakthrough in this worsening economic turmoil, is behaving deplorably.

Some GNP legislators have recently fled President Lee Myung-bak’s side and moved to his rival Park Geun-hye’s faction in the party.

It is natural for people in politics to get together with those who share the same ideas or interests. Moreover, it is desirable in a democracy to see various points of view competing at an appropriate level of tension.

However the behavior of factions in the GNP does not fit into either of these categories.

The prevalence of pursuing factional interests is so severe that it is hard to discern any conviction or philosophy within anyone in the party. The problem lies in the fact that nobody takes responsibility for the neglect of state affairs because of factional struggles.

The conflicts arose as a result of public disappointment with President Lee. The declining rate of support for the president is provoking the departure of members of Lee’s faction.

It is not just the president’s personal misfortune that supporters are deserting him less than a year after his inauguration. The real misfortune falls on the people who are suffering from the economic crisis.

The direct cause of the fuss in the GNP seems to be the possible return of former legislator Lee Jae-o, who is staying in the United States.

When Lee Jae-o’s supporters called for his return, Park’s faction showed strong resistance.

This conflict can be seen as a test of the extent of the power struggle that will take place before the new year, when the reshuffling of the rank-and-file is scheduled.

President Lee should step up and resolve the conflict.

Settling domestic affairs is no less important than engaging in overseas activities to overcome the economic crisis. The best way to settle internal disputes and recover public support is through fair allocation of power.

The American President-elect Barack Obama is reported to have offered the post of secretary of state to former rival Hillary Clinton.

President Lee should calm the unease of the people and the isolation of Park’s faction by being fair and appointing the best people to important posts, regardless of loyalty.

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