Interparty friction sparked by Moon Chang-keuk continues to worsen despite his withdrawal as the prime minister-designate.
On Tuesday, Moon withdrew his name saying that doing so would be the best course of action for helping President Park Geun-hye. The main opposition New Politics Alliance for Democracy welcomed the decision, saying that the matter had had been settled properly.
But the NPAD’s satisfaction was short lived, and the main opposition once again launched an attack on the administration, riled by President Park Geun-hye’s comments on the issue.
“Far from apologizing (the president) is only blaming others. The president is blaming the Assembly as if the parliament refused (to hold) the confirmation hearing,” NPAD cochairman, Rep. Kim Han-gil, said. He added that he had stated on numerous occasions that the NPAD will take part in the confirmation process if Cheong Wa Dae submits the request.
“Normalization of the parliament will be difficult in this manner. Those who hold power but downplay public opinion (are engaged in) third-rate politics.”
On Tuesday, the president said that Moon having withdrawn before the confirmation hearing was “truly regrettable,” and that future nominees should be given the chance to clarify misunderstandings.
As for the ruling Saenuri Party, the developments surrounding Moon have given rise to mixed reactions.
Saenuri Party spokesman Rep. Park Dae-chul attacked the opposition parties, saying that they had caused “extreme division of public opinion and a waste of national resources” by responding to the issue with tired ideological attacks and religious bias.
Others have blamed the state-run broadcaster KBS.
“By implanting the wrong impression in the people’s minds, (KBS) created a situation where the people could not help but have a chilly response to Moon,” Rep. Hong Moon-jong of the ruling party said in a radio interview. Hong is a three-term lawmaker who has set his sights on the post of Saenuri Party chairman.
Related developments have also left Saenuri Party bigwigs divided.
On Tuesday, Rep. Kim Moo-sung, a five-term lawmaker running for the Saenuri Party chairmanship, said that Chief of Staff Kim Ki-choon has some responsibility for the developments. As the chief of staff, Kim Ki-choon also heads the presidential personnel management committee, which is in charge of recommending candidates for high-level government posts.
In contrast, Rep. Suh Chung-won, another party chairman hopeful, cautioned against laying the blame on Kim Ki-choon, saying that the chief of staff was not responsible for vetting candidates.
By Choi He-suk (firstname.lastname@example.org)