President Moon set for first test in meeting with ruling, opposition leaders

By a2017001
  • Published : May 19, 2017 - 09:38
  • Updated : May 19, 2017 - 09:38

President Moon Jae-in is set to hold his first multilateral meeting with party leaders Friday, which could very well set the tone for his relations with an opposition-led parliament.

The president is scheduled to host a luncheon with the floor leaders of five major political parties at his presidential office Cheong Wa Dae including Woo Won-shik of the ruling Democratic Party and Chung Woo-taik of the main opposition Liberty Korea Party. 

President Moon Jae-in (Yonhap)

Kim Dong-cheol, the new floor leader of the minor opposition People's Party, Joo Ho-young of the splinter conservative Bareun Party and Roh Hoe-chan of the progressive Justice Party are also set to join the meeting.

Friday's luncheon comes at the invitation of the new president, who came into office last Wednesday, only one day after his victory in a rare presidential by-election caused by the March 10 ouster of his conservative predecessor Park Geun-hye.

Cheong Wa Dae officials said the meeting indicated the president's willingness to work with the political parties, including those on the opposite side of the spectrum from his liberal Democratic Party.

"As President Moon stressed cooperative governance during his visits to the ruling and opposition parties on his inauguration day, he will seek their cooperation in running state affairs," a Cheong Wa Dae official said earlier, speaking on the condition of anonymity.

Friday's meeting, however, rather comes by the need of the incumbent president than his choice.

The ruling party currently controls 120 National Assembly seats, short 30 votes from a majority in the 299-seat unicameral house.

The People's Party, considered more liberal than conservative, has 40 seats but is unlikely to readily lend its support to the new administration following its humiliating defeat in the election.

Such reluctance to cooperate from the center-left People's Party may have been what forced the president and his ruling party to seek the support of conservative opposition parties -- the LKP and the Bareun Party.

The LKP controls 107 parliamentary seats and the Bareun Party 20 seats.

The minor splinter Justice Party apparently is most supportive of Moon and his liberal policies. It has six National Assembly seats. (Yonhap)