Now is the time

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Now is the time

Three opposition parties have turned down the request by President Park Geun-hye to nominate a prime minister and decided to join the weekend candlelight vigil rally. The president has caused this governance train wreck and she must fully take responsibility.

She must relinquish all power and cooperate to install a nonpartisan cabinet. But the president has been ambiguous about the extent of surrendering power, offering to yield leadership to the prime minister as stipulated in the Constitution. She clearly hasn’t been paying attention to the public outcries. What is most urgent is to restore national leadership and authority. The breakdown in state management comes at a time when the economy and security is at a critical point. The stunning victory of Donald Trump as the next U.S. president aggravates conditions for Korea.

The country is sailing dangerously astray and yet the captain has lost her sight. Her loyal crew is desperate not to let go of the key. The opposition-dominant legislative must take charge.

The main opposition was given the largest seat in the Assembly because voters distrusted the ruling power. The opposition must display more responsibility and capacity.

The president must articulate her position. She must make it clear that she is stepping back and surrendering power to the new cabinet head. The opposition camp must comply with talks with the president.

If she remains recalcitrant, the opposition could go harder on her. The president faces criminal investigation from state and independent prosecutors. She would inevitably have to live up to the consequences. There must a responsible leadership to ensure Korea does not capsize and sails smoothly during such turbulent waters. There is no time to waste over pride.

The president has the key. She first should surrender her power and the opposition should hold talks with her to come up with a solution to restore state authority.

JoongAng Ilbo, Nov. 11, Page 30

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