The next 56 days

Home > Opinion > Editorials

print dictionary print

The next 56 days

On Sunday, President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol from the opposition People Power Party (PPP) announced his appointments for major posts in the transition committee. Members of the committee led by Ahn Cheol-soo, chairman of the minor opposition People’s Party (PP), include PPP Rep. Kwon Young-se as vice chairman of the committee and former Jeju Governor Won Hee-ryong as head of the planning committee. The transition committee will be comprised of seven divisions with 24 members and two special committees. Yoon vowed to do his best to “safeguard the lives of the people by rapidly taking over from the current administration and setting national tasks for the new government.”

The 56 days left before the start of the new administration is a pivotal period for the president-elect to set the very foundation for the new government. Needless to say, success of the new government depends on a successful transition. Yoon must squarely look at harsh reality rather than being elated by his election victory, as he has to deal with a supermajority opposition with 172 seats at the 300-member National Assembly until the parliamentary election in 2024.

In that sense, we welcome Yoon keeping his promise to merge with Ahn’s PP. As the merger will surely demand careful coordination between the two parties, it will test Yoon’s ability to overcome their differences. But the integration will help broaden his power base.

Given lingering suspicion over Yoon’s appointment of Rep. Chang Je-won — a third-term PPP lawmaker and Yoon’s confidante — as his chief secretary before the launch of the new administration, Sunday’s appointments for the transition committee look relatively balanced. Instead of overly relying on talent from past conservative administrations, the president-elect must hire reform-minded people who value practicality and have expertise in running the government.

Yoon also should carry out his campaign promises, including the relocation of the Blue House, to help clear the image of the presidential office as a source of imperial presidency. But he cannot implement all of his campaign promises. As a whopping 266 trillion won ($215 billion) is needed to put them into action, the transition committee must review the feasibility of his pledges to determine what promises should be kept first.

Yoon also needs to have the support of President Moon Jae-in for diplomacy and security issues, including sensitive intelligence on North Korea’s ongoing preparation for another ICBM launch, but also for other issues through close communication with the incumbent president. We hope Yoon proves the sincerity of his promises through action.
Log in to Twitter or Facebook account to connect
with the Korea JoongAng Daily
help-image Social comment?
lock icon

To write comments, please log in to one of the accounts.

Standards Board Policy (0/250자)