Only results matterAfter all the mistakes, confusion and internal conflicts over the past two months, the People Power Party (PPP) seems to have come to its senses. The party certainly sensed a crisis after President Yoon Suk-yeol’s approval rating fell to the 30-percent range and the approval rating for the PPP went lower than that of the Democratic Party (DP) in a recent poll. It is fortunate that the PPP has finally felt the cold reaction from the public.
The PPP decided to allow floor leader Kweon Seong-dong to serve as acting chairman after Lee Jun-seok was suspended from his chairmanship for six months by the party’s ethics committee over the sexual favors he allegedly received from a businessman in 2013. Ahead of the decision, Kweon met the president to discuss the future of the party followed by a Supreme Committee meeting and approval of the decision by a full meeting of PPP lawmakers. On Tuesday, acting chairman Kweon raised the need to revamp the education subsidy system so as not to squander tax. “Lawmakers must not ignore such waste to get votes from their constituents,” he stressed.
However, as the acting chairmanship is only a quick fix, internal schisms can deepen at any time. To prevent it, Lee’s attitude matters. He must humbly accept the decision his party made. A recent survey showed that more than 50 percent support the party’s suspension decision for Lee. That means a majority of people don’t accept his claim that the decision was designed to remove him from the post politically. At the same time, Rep. Chang Je-won, former chief of staff to Yoon during the transition, and other politicians in the PPP must reflect on mounting criticisms that they have been only engrossed with taking the helm of the embattled party.
President Yoon on Tuesday resumed his signature “doorstep interviews” with reporters, which the presidential office said he would stop temporarily after a resurgence of Covid-19 cases. Those interviews must continue as a symbol of the new presidency Yoon championed. But the president must stop using spontaneous and unrefined language to avoid any unnecessary misunderstandings. Also, he must humbly accept thorny questions from journalists.
The president and the PPP took the right direction on the future of the country. His emphasis on reinforcing the alliance with the United States, strengthening fiscal integrity and accelerating deregulation should be appreciated. But any policies are meaningless if they are not backed by tangible results. The PPP disappointed the public by making same mistakes repeatedly and engaging in an unfathomable power struggle.
Only the results matter. The clock is ticking.