By National Political Correspondent Han Min-ji
HWAGANG: Sabrina Hwang, the leader of the Moderate Party, announced that a coalition deal has been reached, well ahead of tomorrow’s 9 pm CHT deadline. The Moderate Party has stated its intention to form a government with the Liberal Democrats, New Bargain, and Onwards Haesan!, in what is Haesan’s most left-wing government since the 1940s.
Political analysts had expected a more centrist coalition to be formed between the Moderates, Lib Dems, and the Free Democrats, but in her press conference Hwang seemed to indicate that was never a real option. There has long been friction between the Moderates as one of the more vocal anti-corruption parties and the Free Dems, who have long been thought of as “corrupt but competent” and are heavily beholden to corporate interests. This coalition is an extraordinarily hard-line government on removing corporate influence from politics, and there is hope among international political watchers that over the next 5 years, this government can reduce Haesan’s high levels of background corruption.
Hwang pitched a message of “Progress and Unity” focusing on not just the traditional Moderate platform of increasing judicial independence and anti-corruption legislation, but fused it with the popular messages of their coalition partners as well. Hwang’s government is expected to emphasize labor reforms with a broad base of popular support, such as establishing a minimum wage in Haesan and providing some baseline level of protections for labor unions. Additionally, Hwang emphasized the coalition’s support for Haesan taking a more active role on the international stage, especially given the nation’s recently confirmed seat on the LIDUN Security Council. The coalition is also expected to heavily fund higher education and expand government research into nuclear science and aerospace.
The four parties combine for 256 seats in the Chamber of Deputies, well above the 198 required for a majority. In the Chamber of the Commonwealth, they have 34 Regents, one more than the 32 they need to pass legislation with a third. In practice, due to the more congenial nature of Haesan’s upper chamber, most laws will pass with far more than that minimum threshold anyways, especially given the Moderate Party’s reputation as a dealmaker.
This is the first time the Moderate Party has ever held either the Prime Ministership or the Presidency. The coalition also is historic for being the first time that a multi-party coalition has been led by entirely women, as Amelia Ward (LD – Namhae), Mireille Kim (NB – Anfa), and Dr. Im Su-yeon (O! – Haebam) join future Prime Minister Hwang in forming the government.
The new government will be sworn in tomorrow at noon in Hwagang. Their first order of business will be confirming a new budget.