Posted March. 13, 2017 07:54,
Updated March. 13, 2017 08:05
The date of early presidential election due to the impeachment of former President Park Geun-hye will be determined this week. It is highly likely that the date will be May 9, 57 days from today. All parties should have both internal election and the presidential election during the period. It is an unprecedented election that takes place in such a short period of time. Also, it is a by-election caused by the vacancy of the president. Hence, a president-elect should conduct his or her duties right after presidential credential is issued. It means that a new administration will be launched from the next day of the election without transition period. We have a monumental task ahead of us, which is not to have a failed president and failed government again, despite all unfavorable circumstances.
The political parties are planning to end their internal elections by early next month. The Liberty Korea Party decided Sunday that it will decide its presidential candidate by March 31. The Bareun Party said it would determine its candidate on March 28. The Minjoo Party and the People’s Party will decide their presidential candidates by early Apr. at the least. It is a tight schedule. The parties are repeatedly realigned and no one knows whether or not four parties could be existed as they are. There have been clear signs of the alignment of anti-dominance from the defection of former Minjoo Party Chairman Kim Jong-in from his party. Also, the Liberty Korea Party and the Bareun Party are talking about a single conservative presidential candidate and there are signs of the revival of the Saenuri Party, centering on the pro-Park faction that opposed the impeachment of former President Park as well.
In the presidential election that will take place in an unprecedented short period of time, voters should be wise in electing president. The success or failure of the next administration will depend on how people evaluate newly-elected president’s ability to run the country as he or she should take the office without transition period. That is why we need a thorough verification in advance. Presidential hopefuls must be reviewed from the public for their election pledges with detailed plans. Also, they should disclose their list of shadow cabinets any time soon. If it is difficult to name all future ministers, a list of ministers of diplomacy, defense, and economy should be announced first for verification.
Three amendments of the Presidential Transition Act in preparation of the early election have been proposed in the National Assembly. The proposed amendments include plans to allow for both the president elect and candidates to establish the transition team that can act as preliminary cabinet, and to appoint ministers at the recommendation of prime minister nominee instead of prime minister so that new president can form a cabinet immediately after being elected as president. The National Assembly should pass the amendment soon for prompt launch of a new government. There is no time to waste in the middle of internal and external crisis along with the leadership vacancy that was not seen before.