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MDP Discussing Political Amendment

Posted June. 27, 2002 23:11,   


The Millennium Democratic Party (MDP) is mentioning in earnest a revision of the constitution. Rep. Park Sang-chun, chairman of the MDP Political Reform Committee, mentioned last week a revision of the constitution to a combined form of the presidential and cabinet systems and Chung Gyun-hwan, the party whip, supported Park`s remarks, indicating that the party`s move to revise the constitution is not a one-off discussion.

Chung said, "The power concentrated on the president should be decentralized if political reforms are to be well implemented. A system should be introduced that awards more power to the prime minister. There are presidential system and cabinet system, but a combined form of a system adopted in France seems to be appropriate."

Asked when to revise the constitution, he said that this time would be difficult. He added that the upcoming presidential election would be held under the current constitution, but the next administration should be formed under a revised constitution.

Reform-minded lawmakers including Park and Chung form a majority of the MDP.

Roh has long advocated the so-called `responsible premier` system, in which the prime minister takes responsibility for the entire cabinet, and decentralization of power.

The MDP plans to consult with legislators when its discussion of the revision of the constitution takes on a specific form.

But the Grand National Party (GNP) thinks the discussion on the revision of the constitution is premature. The party says that it will not be late to carry out the presidential election first under the current constitution and then talk about the revision.

The GNP also suspects that the MDP would turn the table around by raising an issue of constitutional revision. Lee Hoi-chang, the GNP presidential candidate, confirmed during the party primaries his will to revise the constitution after the presidential election. But he intended to make his decision after collection the public opinion and not to take the initiative.

Young-Chan Yoon Jong-Hoon Lee yyc11@donga.com taylor55@donga.com