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MDP Gives Momentum to Constitutional Revision to Give More Power to Premier

MDP Gives Momentum to Constitutional Revision to Give More Power to Premier

Posted September. 30, 2003 22:45,   


Some lawmakers within the Grand National Party (GNP) is suggesting a revision of the Constitution to introduce the parliamentary cabinet system while some within the Millennium Democratic Party is pursuing "responsible premier system," in which the premier is given more executive power.

At a news conference on Tuesaday, Park Sang-cheon, chairman of the MDP, urged President Roh Moo-hyun to keep his campaign pledge to implement the so-called responsible premier system. He said that because the president has no partisan affiliations, which is unprecedented in Korean political history, under the four-party political landscape, running a nation properly is almost impossible.

Park also called on the president to make an apology because he defected from the MDP, on whose ticket he won the election, without consultations with MDP members and voters who supported him in last year`s election. And he also announced that the MDP is an opposition party from now on.

In a closed meeting, where MDP supreme council members and advisers participated, on Tuesday morning, a senior party member said, "Roh pledged to revise the Constitution for the premier to have more administrative power by 2006, but he should implement the `responsible premier system` earlier, because his defection from the MDP has caused a crisis in terms of national administration."

In that meeting, most of the participants showed approval to his remarks and they reportedly decided to consider suggesting a Constitutional revision for the introduction of the responsible premier system as a campaign pledge in general elections next year.

Meanwhile, in a cabinet meeting on the same day, President Roh Moo-hyun said, "To my defection from the MDP, both the MDP and the GNP are showing negative responses. Some worry that from now on the government will clash with the National Assembly." He went on to say that it is only a temporary political offensive and that his having no partisan affiliations eventually would be helpful to the operation of the Assembly.

Roh also said, "Government policy focuses on the economy and the people`s livelihood, so the government does not clash with political parties. Emotion should not intervene in making policy decisions and the National Assembly should become more productive."

Sung-Won Park Jeong-Hun Kim swpark@donga.com jnghn@donga.com