DP must respect the governmentTwenty first-term legislators of the main opposition Democratic Party have issued a statement demanding a general resignation of the cabinet - a de facto manifestation of a no-confidence position against the government of President Park Geun-hye. They claimed that the presidential election in December had been an organized, irregular fraud and demanded a full-scale special investigation. They are a small and extreme group within the party, but the opposition party nevertheless is gathering momentum in an offensive campaign against the ruling party and the government. The rhetoric and actions are even more extreme than during the walkout period.
Hard-liners are bound to kick up a storm when their demands and views go ignored. But they must be contained in order to not cause bigger social divisions and unrest. We have yet to see decisive leadership from DP head Kim Han-gill. As the head of the party, he should set a direction and stop the disarray within the party. The clamorous divide suggests his leadership is in jeopardy.
Moreover, Kim himself appears lacking in restraint on the offensive against the governing party. While criticizing the president’s recent choice of prosecutor-general, Kim called the appointment a “neo-emergency measure,” an obvious allusion to the emergency constitutional revisions under long-serving President Park Chung Hee and his military regime, which have been declared “unconstitutional” by the Constitutional Court. Kim intentionally made the reference to the controversial actions by Park Chung Hee to criticize his daughter, the incumbent president.
He accused the government and the Saenuri Party of undermining the Constitution. He said the government was committing a mass-scale cover-up of systemic election interference by the National Intelligence Service. What kind of politics is the DP head trying to show by discrediting the government and the ruling party?
Is the Park Geun-hye government the only enemy of the DP? If the DP does not respect its rival party, it won’t get any respect back. The DP must contain itself in its offensive against the government. Otherwise, it may lose its credibility.