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Constitution Day Losing Its Meaning Among Lawmakers

Posted July. 18, 2005 03:09,   


The 57th Anniversary Ceremony of the establishment of the Korean Constitution, held on July 17, had only a few attending lawmakers, realizing the current state of the Constitution Day, which is losing its meaning as time goes by.

Only about 20 lawmakers attended the ceremony, so many of the seats allotted to the legislative branch had to be filled by other people. Most of the attending lawmakers were the principal members of the party such as chairpersons or the leadership. It is reported that the rest of the National Assembly members did not attend, citing traveling abroad or other personal schedules.

Notable attendants from the Uri Party included Chairman Moon Hee-sang, Floor Leader Chung Sye-kyun, Secretary General Bae Ki-sun, Policy Committee Chairperson Won Hae-young, National Assembly Central Committee Chairperson Jang Young-dal, National Assembly Information Committee Chairman Shin Ki-nam, Yoo In-tae, Lee Eun-young and Lee Mok-hee.

The list of notable attendants from the Grand National Party included Chairperson Park Geun-hye, Chief Vice Floor Leader Lim Tae-hee, Lee Jae-chang, Kim Young-sun, and Kwon Young-sae. In addition Democratic Labor Party’s Floor Leader Chun Young-sae, Millennium Democratic Party Representative Han Hwa-gap and United Liberal Democrats Representative Kim Hak-won also attended the event.

A National Assembly source said bitterly, “Only a few years ago, at least 50 lawmakers used to attend, but the attendance has been continuously decreasing.”

Government officials that the attended the event included Prime Minister Lee Hae-chan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance and Economy Han Deok-soo, Minister of Justice Chun Jeong-bae, and Minister of Labor Kim Dae-hwan.

Starting in 2008, Constitution Day will not be a holiday. The only remaining Constitutional National Assembly Member and Constitutional Comrade Assembly President Kim In-sik (92) lamented during his speech at the ceremony, “It is distressing since it seems that the significance of Constitution Day is being reduced according to governmental policy.”

Myoung-Gun Lee gun43@donga.com