Assembly lacks leadershipNational Assembly Speaker Kim Hyung-o’s statement that the opposition party should stop its occupation of the Assembly failed to satisfy both the ruling and opposition parties. His statement seems to be a quick fix that mixes the stances of both political parties.
After the statement was unveiled, the opposition party denounced Kim’s statement as “the ruling party’s declaration of war” against the opposition party.
Kim even promised not to use his authority as National Assembly chairman to directly move bills to the National Assembly session without subcommittee approval.
In response, ruling party politicians said Kim “is not taking the current situation seriously.”
His statement seems to aggravate the conflict between the two parties. He should have shown a strong will and determination.
By urging both parties to agree on pending bills, Kim took a passive attitude toward current problems. Kim stressed the importance of talk and negotiations, but everyone knows these are needed. In a situation where talk and negotiations do not work at all, emphasizing their necessity is interpreted as Kim trying to evade his responsibility.
When conflict reaches its peak, we have to go back to square one and think of a solution based on principles. The National Assembly is a place where laws are made. In order to pass bills, conference rooms must first be secured. This is a prerequisite for talk and negotiations.
In that sense, Kim’s order to opposition party politicians to stop occupying the National Assembly’s main conference hall by 12 a.m. yesterday was right.
Democratic Party members said they cannot stop occupying the hall because Grand National Party politicians will pass bills without their consent.
When people have different ideas, the minority should follow the decision of the majority if both parties fail to reach an agreement. Instead of occupying the National Assembly, Democratic Party members should take part in meetings and make their voices heard. The public voted for the Grand National Party to become the nation’s ruling party, so the Democratic Party shouldn’t occupy the Assembly just because their counterparts have different ideas.
Speaker Kim concluded his statement saying that, “I fear neither the governing party nor the opposition parties, but the people.” The only way to serve the public is by following the choice they made in the voting booth.