President Yoon Seok-yeol: Transforming into a ‘President who does Politics’

2024-04-21 20:03:18

President Seok-Yeol Yoon./Office of the President

It was reported on the 21st that President Yoon Seok-yeol recently told his aides: “I will now become a ‘president who does politics.’ It is said that just after speaking with Lee Jae-myeong, head of the Democratic Party of Korea, on the 19th, he gathered the president’s chief of staff, the director of the security bureau and the political director and said this to him. Chairman Yoon proposed a “Yongsan meeting” in a phone call with Rep. Lee that day. President Yoon’s comment that he was a “president who plays politics” immediately afterwards is interpreted as an indication that he would bring a change in his governing style following the ruling party’s crushing defeat in the general election from April 10.

President Yoon expressed his thoughts on the general election results and his future resolutions to his staff, saying, “I ran into the field with the determination to work hard, but I did not live up to expectations. He said: “I have to change my style a lot” and “I will reduce my schedule, my messages and my words”. President Yoon also said, “I must become a president who approaches the people in a friendly manner. An official from the presidential office said: “It seems that he means that he will respect the public sentiment expressed in the general election results and remove the image of “self-righteousness” and ” non-communication” if it has taken root contrary to public opinion. his intention. Another presidential office official said: “There seems to have been an awareness that the president is the ‘highest political leader.’

However, the political task facing President Yoon is not easy. First, Lee Jae-myeong, head of the Democratic Party who is meeting with President Yoon this week, said that this is a people’s livelihood program and that he will bring to the table conversation 250,000 won to support all citizens. This is a difficult question for the president and the government to accept. President Yoon recently invited former emergency committee chairman Han Dong-hoon of the People Power Party and members of the emergency committee to the presidential office in Yongsan, but former president Han reportedly said he would be difficult to attend for health reasons.

Nevertheless, the President’s Office has begun follow-up work to restore President Yoon’s policies. First, we are considering reducing the schedule of on-site visits, which has been criticized as “excessive” in some political circles. Additionally, we are working on ways to strengthen contacts with the ruling party as well as members of opposition parties. An official from the presidential office said: “We will reduce the president’s remarks and messages, but if he has to make a statement, we will keep it concise and purify it so that the public does not feel uncomfortable.” The idea is to avoid excessive ideological expressions, such as “communist totalitarianism”, mentioned by President Yoon in various commemorative speeches last year. Regarding this, former lawmaker Kim Jong-in, who served as chairman of President Yoon’s campaign committee during the last presidential election, said: “I think (President Yoon) has made great progress. »

There are also signs that President Yoon has already begun to transform into a “president who plays politics.” A presidential office official said the phone call with Rep. Lee Jae-myung was an example. Staff in the President’s office are said to have initially suggested a phone call with Rep. Lee on the 11th, the day after the general election. There was no response from President Yoon for about a week, but it appears that after visiting the cemetery on April 19, he ordered a phone call to be coordinated with Rep. Lee. The ruling party is also attentive to the fact that President Yoon accepted the proposal of the presidents of national universities to “autonomously recruit 50-100% of the quota” on the issue of increasing the number of medical schools, for which he constantly maintained a “non-retirement” attitude.

The presidential office also considers it unusual for President Yoon to receive a report on a draft speech related to a recent event and order its revision. An official from the president’s office said, “When the draft speech sent by the ministry contained many technical terms, the president sent it back saying, ‘Rewrite it so the public can understand it.’ He added: “There has also been great resistance to the use of technical terms such as ‘quantum.'” President Yoon, who never existed, this time emphasized the fact of raise public expectations,” he said.

Many in politics have pointed out that the problem lies with President Yoon’s rigid style or excessively self-centered message, rather than his administrative policies themselves. Since President Yoon stopped holding brief (door-to-door) press conferences on his way to work a year and a half ago, he has revealed his government plans through various meetings he chairs, including including the Cabinet meeting. This year, I chaired 24 public debates on livelihoods in which citizens participated. A ruling party official said: “The president may have intended to directly persuade the people, but some aspects did not penetrate the public because it was perceived as an uncompromising ‘monologue’ or a ‘monologue’. unilateral political promotion broadcast. Similar points were raised regarding President Yoon’s public speech on the 1st, in which he stressed the need to increase the number of doctors for 51 minutes, and his remarks at the Cabinet meeting on the 16th, when he been criticized for “thinking after promoting results”. ‘.

In response to President Yoon’s comment that he will “become a president who does politics,” the ruling party also reacted by saying, “This is a great moment.” Some also point out that President Yoon’s willingness to change can only be determined by observing whether he will engage in dialogue with the opposition party as well as fringe figures within the ruling party. President Yoon dealt with fringe figures in the ruling party, including Rep. Lee Jae-myung and former lawmaker Na Kyung-won, who clashed with the pro-Yoon group ahead of the Party leader’s election convention of people power in March last year. , legislator Ahn Cheol-soo, who was an opponent of the unification of presidential candidates, and former legislator Yoo Seung-min, who participated in the presidential primary. He has not had a single meeting since taking office. Regarding this, former lawmaker Kim Jong-in appeared on CBS Radio on the 19th and said, “Chairman Yoon must break away from the same way of thinking that he has done so far,” and added: “Since he decided this wouldn’t this be an opportunity to make a change?”

Meanwhile, President Yoon continued to debate the issue of selecting a successor as chief of staff over the weekend. It is known that President Yoon considers strong candidates such as Chung Jin-seok (64), former vice-president of the National Assembly, and former Saenuri Party chief Lee Jeong-hyeon (66), elected twice in the legislative elections. Suncheon district of Jeollanam-do. Both are also mentioned as candidates for prime minister. Many people recommend former lawmaker Won Hee-ryong (60), who served as minister of Land, Infrastructure and Transportation in the current administration, and lawmaker Jang Je-won (57), who served as chief of staff when the president elected, as chief of staff.

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