Park Geun-hye, former chairwoman of the ruling Grand National Party (GNP), said Wednesday that President Lee Myung-bak will have to assume full responsibility for his possible attempt to review his election pledge to build an "international science-business belt" in the central Chungcheong province.
Park, a leading presidential hopeful who has frequently clashed with Lee over key state policies, said that the president will have to take full responsibility if he decides to reverse his earlier promise on the science-business belt, an issue certain to count in next year's general and presidential elections along with other sensitive political issues.
In a TV talk show on Feb. 1, Lee sowed the seed of fierce political debate by hinting that he may backtrack on his 2007 campaign pledge to build the lucrative town in the central province of Chungcheong.
The nation's rival political parties have been at odds over the matter. The main opposition Democratic Party calls for the creation of the science-business belt in the Chungcheong province as planned, while some ruling GNP lawmakers demand it be constructed in the southeastern province of Gyeongsang.
"(The science-business belt) is what the president had promised to the people. If he wants to review it, the president must be prepared to take full responsibility," Park told reporters at the National Assembly.
Asked to elaborate on the term "responsibility," Park explained, "I mean the president is in charge, with the entire state in perspective. I have no decision-making power over such a matter."