It is such a pleasure as well as meaningful to have Speaker Park Byeong-seug and Deputy Speakers Kim Sang-hee and Chung Jin-suk along with the standing committee chairpersons of the 21st
National Assembly here at Cheong Wa Dae for the first time.
I extend my personal congratulations to those newly elected: Deputy Speaker Chung and the standing committee chairpersons. I also congratulate you on having reached an amicable agreement between the ruling and opposition parties on forming the leadership and allocating the standing committee chair positions. I expect the agreement to serve as an opportunity for the ruling and opposition parties to begin collaborative governance in earnest despite the COVID-19 situation.
I am grateful to Speaker Park for your hard work bringing the National Assembly into smooth operation and also for accomplishing a lot during your recent visits to Turkey and Azerbaijan.
I was told that Deputy Speaker Chung is the only opposition party member to become a main sponsor of the proposed bill to revise the National Assembly Act to establish a branch of the Assembly in Sejong City. I look forward to that bill being passed seamlessly through an agreement between the ruling and opposition parties.
Deputy Speaker Kim has yet to arrive. She has likely felt lonely fulfilling her role as Deputy Speaker on her own so far, but now she might be able to relax a little. In particular, I believe she is very pleased as she now has a partner to steer the ruling and opposition parties toward talks and compromises.
As for my Administration, there won’t be the typical final year. Upholding the belief that we have a responsibility to fulfill our duties as a government that overcomes crises until the end of its term in office, we will do all we can up to the last moment. Overcoming the series of crises caused by COVID-19, restoring our daily routines and achieving a fresh leap forward cannot be completed within my term in office. As the next administration will have to continue these tasks, I ask for active bipartisan cooperation in the National Assembly.
In the run-up to the presidential election, the ruling and opposition parties cannot help but compete for votes, but I ask you to keep such competition separate from the issues affecting people’s livelihoods. I urge you all to join forces to protect and further improve the lives of our people.
Most of all, I don’t assume that any of the tasks requiring legislative and budgetary support from the National Assembly will be easy. This is a time when genuine collaborative governance through dialogue and compromise is desperately needed among the ruling and opposition parties and the Government. I would like to say that we should work together so that this regular session of the Assembly becomes a venue for the kind of cooperative governance that can provide an opportunity for a new leap forward. At the same time, it should draw an agreement on social challenges that have not been solved so far and address hardships in people’s lives.
The 2022 budget proposal submitted to the National Assembly by my Administration contains our determination for recovery, inclusiveness and a leap forward. I ask you to deliberate carefully so that we can create an opportunity for a complete recovery and a new leap forward. I would also like you to take into account that more than half of the budget will be used by the next administration.
This regular session of the National Assembly is the last opportunity for my Administration to conclude policy tasks and is a precious time for handling urgent reforms related to people’s livelihoods. Without cooperation from all of you here and the Assembly, it will not be possible. I ask you to help the Government to fulfill its duties until the end of my Administration.
Since this much-awaited chance to get together has been arranged today, please feel free to speak your minds. I hope that this will be an opportunity for productive communication.