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Ruling Party Suggests Transferring Prime Minister Appointment Rights to Opposition

Ruling Party Suggests Transferring Prime Minister Appointment Rights to Opposition

Posted July. 11, 2005 03:20,   


Chairman Moon Hee-sang of the ruling Uri Party announced on July 10 that "if the National Assembly reaches an agreement over creating an electoral system that can relieve regional divisions," he would "recommend the president relinquish to the opposition the right to appoint a prime minister and the authorities equivalent to those in the parliamentary system."

In a press conference held at the party`s headquarters in Yeongdeungpo-gu, Seoul on that day marking the 100th day since his taking office, Chairman Moon said regarding President Roh’s political coalition plan, "We are ready to make any discussions and consultations with anyone willing to abolish chronic regionalism and change the outdated structure of regional politics established on the basis of regionalism."

Moon went on to suggest to the opposition forming the "Third Council on Political Reform" and discussing ways to make legal and institutional improvements in easing regionalism, such as multi-member districts, region-specific proportional representation, and a German-style system of party-list proportional representation.

Asked by the press on whether "a coalition of four opposition parties would be given the rights to appoint a prime minister," Chairman Moon replied, "It would be practically impossible. I guess the Grand National Party (GNP) would get the rights," hinting that he might be thinking of a "grand coalition government" including GNP.

Nevertheless, the Grand National Party, the largest opposition party, dismissed the proposal as "an absurd remark irrelevant to the people`s livelihood." The Democratic Labor Party (DLP) and the Democratic Party were also negative about the suggestion. Against this backdrop, many in the political circles believe the governing party`s proposal on forming a coalition government based on a reform of the electoral system would hardly get any practical results.

Yong-Gwan Jung Seung-Heon Lee yongari@donga.com ddr@donga.com