General politics : Politics : News : The Hankyoreh

President Yoon Seok-yeol addresses the 20th meeting of the State Council held at the Presidential Office in Yongsan, Seoul on May 16. Senior Correspondent Yoon Un-shik

It was on April 4th that President Yoon Seok-yeol asked for the reconsideration of the amendment to the Grain Management Act, which was decided at the full meeting of the National Assembly. President Yoon criticized, “It is a typical populist measure that goes against the government’s agricultural policy goal of increasing agricultural production and raising the income of farm households, and it does not help farmers and rural development at all.” It was on 16 May that President Yoon asked for the Nursing Act to be reconsidered, which was decided at the full meeting of the National Assembly. President Yoon said, “The demedicalization of nursing work causes people to worry about their health.” . In this way, even after passing the full session of the National Assembly, the amendment to the Grain Control Act and the Nursing Act were blocked by the president’s exercise of the veto power, and met the unfortunate fate of having eliminated one after the other. Which bill will be next? It appears that it will be an amendment to the Broadcasting Act to improve the governance structure of public broadcasting. And then which bill? It appears that the ‘Yellow Envelope Act’ will limit companies’ indiscriminate damage compensation lawsuits for industrial actions such as strikes and strikes. When the opposition party, the majority of the National Assembly, takes the lead in deciding a bill in the plenary meeting of the National Assembly, President Yoon exercises his veto power to remove the bill.

Decided on the party, ‘Like using Jo Ja-ryong’s old knife’

The right to veto the legislative bill, which President Yoon now uses as if using an old knife, is the president’s authority stated in Article 53, Paragraph 2 of the Constitution. It is also called the right to ask for the bill to be reconsidered. The power to veto bills is an extraordinary power that allows the president to directly and practically interfere with the legislature’s right to enact. A bill requiring reconsideration can be ratified into law if the National Assembly so decides with the presence of a majority of the total number of legislators and the approval of at least two thirds of the current members, but it is difficult for the Assembly National. to meet such a special quorum. If the president abuses the power to veto bills, he can neutralize the legislative power of the National Assembly. Therefore, the President’s veto must be used very carefully in very special cases. Since the establishment of the government in 1948, 66 presidents have exercised their right to veto from President Syngman Rhee to President Moon Jae-in, but the majority were under President Syngman Rhee (43 times). It was Park Chung-hee 7 times, Roh Tae-woo 7 times, Roh Moo-hyun 6 times, Lee Myung-bak 1 time, Park Geun-hye 2 times, and Presidents Kim Young-sam, Kim Dae-jung and Moon Jae-in did not exercise his right of veto even once. The reason why there has not been much of a veto exercise since President Park Chung-hee is that the majority of the National Assembly and the party belonging to the president largely coincide. This is also because the President respects the legislative power of the National Assembly as much as possible. There is no set rule about which bills the president can veto. However, in light of the purpose of the system, there must be a valid reason and necessity for exercising the right to refuse. Seong Nak-in, a constitutional scholar and former president of Seoul National University, referred to “inoperative bills, bills that go against the national interest, bills that contain content that puts undue political pressure on the government , and unconstitutional bills, etc.” as examples. I am not sure where the amendment to the Grain Control Act and the Nursing Act, which President Yoon exercised his veto right, comes under. President Yoon’s veto mainly targets bills that are contrary to conservative interests and vested interests in our society, among the controversial bills where the opinions of the opposition parties differ. However, in many cases, the people’s power on the bill in question is decided directly by President Yoon, not by the members of the People’s Power National Assembly. In the end, it’s as if President Yoon reflexively vetoes the bill he opposes without much thought.

Members of the Korean Nursing Association are holding a rally in front of the National Assembly on April 10 to urge the enactment of the Nursing Act.  Senior Reporter Yoon Un-shik

Members of the Korean Nursing Association are holding a rally in front of the National Assembly on April 10 to urge the enactment of the Nursing Act. Senior Reporter Yoon Un-shik

The difference between the two presidents

If this situation continues, it will be impossible to properly seek the cooperation of the opposition parties in running the affairs of the state. It is very frustrating. Why the hell is this happening? In a word, that is because of the ‘presidential political absence’. A president is not a king. The president is a politician. This is the practical center of the government and the ruling party, that is, the passport. The president must actively participate in dialogue and compromise with the opposition, that is, politics, in order for the affairs of the state to return. The United States, which maintains the prototype of the presidential system, is exactly that. It’s a lot of people in the middle of the day. If the president does not participate in politics, it is inevitable that the affairs of the state will be paralyzed. By the way, President Yoon seems to recognize himself only as the head of state, the head of the administration, that is, the ruler. He does not seem to regard politics as his responsibility. There is no way that state affairs will work properly. There was a former president like President Yoon who was in a situation where the opposition was serious. This is President Roh Tae-woo. He was elected as the 13th president on December 16, 1987 and inaugurated on February 25, 1988. In the 13th general election on April 26, 1988, held in a single member district system, the Minjeong Party won only 125 seats. It was a massive loss, far less than half of the total of 299 seats. President Kim Dae-jung’s Pyeongmin Party had 70 seats, President Kim Young-sam’s United Democratic Party had 59 seats, and President Kim Jong-pil’s New Democratic Republic Party had 35 seats. Disappointed with the election results, President Roh Tae-woo wrote in his memoirs:

“I made up my mind that I should accept the result of the election as the will of heaven and accept it humbly. It meant that heaven had not allowed the ‘end of the era of the three Kims’ that I declared when running for the presidential election. ” “I said, ‘The political era of unilateral ruling parties has passed and the era of partnership between ruling and opposition parties has arrived, so we must overcome difficulties constant until the cooperative system between the opposition parties and the opposition parties is on the right track. This requires patience, tolerance and patience. Without this basic attitude, history cannot move forward.” Indeed, the National Assembly in the first half of the 13th was the ‘period where politics is alive’. President Roh Tae-woo met with opposition leaders to talk and compromise. There is something like this in the autobiography of President Kim Dae-jung, who was the president of the Pyeongmin Party at the time. “The fact that it is a political situation between the opposition parties and the opposition parties does not mean that the opposition party dominates. The opposition had to consider the will of the people thoroughly. This is because they have to share the responsibility for the affairs of the state. All the bills were passed by consensus between the ruling and opposition parties, so there was more unanimity than ever before. The opposition parties held frequent five-party talks to ensure that the National Assembly operated smoothly. The president and representatives of the ruling party and the presidents of the three opposition parties were present. The views of all parties were reconciled in the five-party talks.” During this period, major political compromises were made, such as the 5th Industrial Complex liquidation hearing, family law review, the revival of local self-government, and the postponement of President Roh Tae-woo’s mid-term evaluation. It didn’t last long. This is because in January 1990, the ruling party collapsed as a result of the merger of the three parties.

Only ‘dictating secretaries’ in the presidential office

But isn’t that a bit strange? President Roh Tae-woo did the politics of dialogue and compromise, but why can’t President Yoon Seok-yeol do it? Why? Firstly, this is due to the difference in the internal structure of the party. President Roh Tae-woo was the leader of the Democratic Party. He was an imperial president and an imperial governor. President Yoon may be an imperial president, but he is not an imperial ruler. Secondly, because the leadership is different. President Roh Tae-woo was from the military, but he was a man of empathetic leadership. It was a method of converging the opinions of staff and ministers of the Blue House. To tell the truth, the style was ‘poorly noticed’. On the other hand, President Yoon is an unstoppable person. You are confident that your decision is correct. Self-righteousness. Make important decisions only. It is dogmatic. I work hard on my own. It is a solo. Although Chief of Staff Kim Dae-gi and Chief of Staff Lee Jin-bok are first-class staff in the Office of the President, they do not make political judgments. Because President Yoon hates him. It seems that they are in a hurry to write down what the president calls them and carry it out. Literally means nothing more than a secretary. It’s a big deal. I’ll wrap up. At a cabinet meeting on May 9, a day before the first anniversary of his inauguration, President Yoon said, “The past government’s anti-market and abnormal policies that caused housing price inflation and market unrest have become the basis for charter fraud . ” Like the false peace that depends on the goodwill of criminals, the incapacity of the surveillance and detection system has pushed many socially disadvantaged people into a quagmire of despair.” Even then, the next day, as if he was not satisfied, he said, “The public idea of ​​the last presidential election was to correct unfairness and nonsense,” and he said, “North Korean security, anti-market, and abnormal real estate. policies that rely solely on goodwill are typical.” Even the ‘1st anniversary photo book seen via video’ released on May 31 is “a year from ‘fallen Korea’ to ‘standing Korea'” “to revive the economy of a collapsed country” “to restore the ROK- which has collapsed. United States” It was a one-color criticism of the predecessors.

Screen from the Office of the President website

Screen from the Office of the President website

Why the hell is President Yoon doing this? Is this an excuse for poor performance in state affairs? Is it to rally conservative supporters for the general election? Or is it complicated about President Moon Jae-in, who chose himself as the Seoul Central District Prosecutor’s Office and Prosecutor General and eventually made him president? No matter how much I think about it, I don’t know. How long will you blame President Moon Jae-in and the opposition and exercise your right to veto the bill? What the hell are you thinking about? What do you guys think? Senior Correspondent, Political Department