Imprudent remarksPresident Park Geun-hye denounced the National Assembly for dragging its feet on urgent bills directly related to ordinary people’s livelihoods at Tuesday’s Cabinet meeting at the Blue House. The president said it will surely invite public revenge later on. She remarked that it is quite lamentable that there is no echo heard even when she pleads with the legislature to pass bills at every Cabinet meeting. The president lambasted lawmakers for their inability to pass crucial bills designed to rejuvenate our supine economy, due to their obsession with political issues. The president went so far as to urge the public to pick only truthful candidates who really can do the job for the people in the next general election.
Of course, the president can express her agony over the grim political reality, in which she has serious trouble governing the nation due to a critical lack of the legislature’s help in passing legislation. However, it is quite inappropriate for the president to take advantage of a Cabinet meeting to call for “public revenge” on lawmakers who want to run for reelection in the April 13 general election. Political circles are already upset over the president’s rumored intention to replace current and anti-Park lawmakers of the ruling Saenuri Party in Daegu and North Gyeongsang - home turf of the conservative government - with new faces friendly to the president in the campaign.
Former and current ministers and presidential aides, including Minister of the Interior Chong Jong-sup, are rumored to be running. Coincidently, they are targeting constituencies in North Gyeongsang and Daegu, which Yoo Seong-min, former Saenuri floor leader, represented before his breach with President Park over a revision to the National Assembly Law. All of that causes misunderstandings and wild speculation that their rush onto Yoo’s turf is aimed at robbing him of his political career.
Some people rumored to run in the region are fueling confusion by leaking word that their runs were approved by the Blue House or that the president has given her nod. To make matters worse, the president called for “people’s revenge” on current legislators in the next election, which is interpreted as a warning to anti-Park groups in the ruling party. With piles of work, including labor reform, left to do, the president needs not invite misunderstandings or suspicions through imprudent remarks.
The president also said that unless citizens learn history correctly in schools, the spirit of the nation can go astray, pointing to leftist biases in our current modern history books. That’s not an appropriate remark as a leader because it will trigger resistance from the liberal camp. As the election approaches, the president must not violate her duty to keep political neutrality no matter what.
JoongAng Ilbo, Nov. 11, Page 34