| President-elect Park Geun-hye has proposed rule of law and national unity as the framework for her transition committee. The team`s subordinate units should also be formed thoroughly to meet this framework. The main opposition Democratic United Party said Friday`s announcement of key members of the transition team was "balanced," adding that the appointments showed that President-elect Park put much thought and analysis into the line-up.
Kim Yong-joon, former chief justice of the Constitutional who will head the committee, is the first lawyer to be named to the post since 1987, when the country adopted a democratic form of government. His appointment seems to reflect Park`s will to emphasize rule of law. Chin Young, chairman of the ruling Saenuri Party`s policymaking committee, has been named Kim`s deputy. A close aide to the president-elect, Chin is expected to coordinate working-level functions of the committee.
In a news conference held after his appointment as chairman of the transition committee, Kim stressed the importance of rule of law, saying lawbreakers should not be considered heroes. When he spoke to reporters in October, he also said, "If law and principles are not upheld, (we) can neither achieve economic development nor democracy," stressing a firm belief in rule of law. The country`s constitutional values are a liberal democracy, market economy and rule of law. Rule of law is the infrastructure on which this community can exist. Korean society has often been swayed by those who disrespect or break the law. The Park administration should remember that the people demand the restoration of rule of law.
The president-elect also appointed former lawmaker Han Kwang-ok to chair the national unity subcommittee and Rep. Kim Sang-min to lead a subcommittee on youth affairs. Park`s selection of Han, a former chief of staff under the late former President Kim Dae-jung, indicates her determination to achieve national unity by embracing the opposition stronghold of the Jeolla provinces and political groups that opposed the ruling party. Though she won the election by more than a million votes, people in their 20s and 30s mostly did not back her. The youth affairs subcommittee will be her first step to better communicate with the younger generation. The country`s generational, regional and class conflicts have worsened through the latest presidential election. Park`s determination to embrace the 48 percent of voters who did not select her will hopefully not end up as a mere political gesture.
The transition committee, which will operate until the eve of Park`s inauguration day, is in charge of handling the major issues and projects of the incumbent administration while drawing up a blueprint for the next government. The transition teams of previous administrations acted as if they were occupational forces. Members tend to grow too ambitious in wielding their authority rather than focusing on their duty of setting up a new government. Bureaucrats are known to have begun to lobby for key posts in the transition committee probably because of precedents who served on the transition team went to have successful careers. Park`s transition committee should create a model that eradicates such deep-rooted practices.