Time to stop the blame game

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Time to stop the blame game

President Park Geun-hye has canceled a cabinet meeting again. And for the fourth time since she was sworn in last week, she hasn’t set up her official schedule of presidential duties. This situation is embarrassing the people.

When she was a lawmaker, she often resorted to shutting herself up in her house at the crest of a crisis. That kind of demonstration of unflinching will helped her achieve her goals.

But as president, it’s a different story. That strategy, albeit resolute, can hardly persuade the opposition Democratic United Party to cooperate with the new administration. Instead, it only exacerbates the current deadlock over her proposed government reorganization plan.

People want to see an active president. But Park still shelves assigning administrative works to the minister nominees who already passed through their confirmation hearings at the National Assembly. That constitutes a dereliction of duty as head of the executive branch. As a result, all government workers are idling without any orders from their bosses. When a contingency occurs over the next five years, Park’s defensive mode could fatally hamper the government’s decision-making process.

The DUP is also unable to find an exit from the quagmire. A critical lack of dialogue between the two camps will likely prolong the deadlock. If the opposition still believes its sit-in against the president will help gather public support, that’s a colossal miscalculation. The party has even blocked the passage of a bill calling for disciplinary measures for two of its members who made derogatory remarks against President Park and illegally exposed sensitive dialogue during the last presidential election.

Fortunately, both camps are calling for self-reflection in an effort to break the impasse. Kim Yong-tae, a Saenuri Party lawmaker, criticized Park’s obstinate attitude surrounding her government revamp plan. Kim Byong-joon, the Blue House policy director under the Roh Moo-hyun administration, chimed in by advising the DUP to honor the will of the president. Given the confrontation, their remarks amount to a call for cooperation in allowing the administration to launch before it is attacked.

The extraordinary session of the assembly ended yesterday without any results. If the reorganization plan is to be approved, there will have to be another extra session later this month. All parties involved must stop wasting time blaming each other for this unprecedented crisis. People are waiting for them to break the deadlock as quickly as possible.
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