Go to contents

Will the Sejong City Revamp Come After the Local Elections?

Will the Sejong City Revamp Come After the Local Elections?

Posted January. 15, 2010 08:09,   


Voices in the ruling Grand National Party say the Sejong City project could be handled after the local elections in June, especially from the presidential office and lawmakers loyal to President Lee Myung-bak.

This is in contrast to the sentiment of Prime Minister Chung Un-chan, who said, “I want to address this issue as soon as possible by proposing a bill in advance. Otherwise, this will bring chaos to our society.”

A leading lawmaker backing the president told The Dong-A Ilbo in a telephone interview yesterday, “The Sejong City issue cannot be solved in a short period of time, and concluding the deal is likely to occur after the June local elections.”

“The Prime Minister’s Office might want an end to this issue as soon as possible, but the presidential office has a different idea.”

The government has told the ruling party that it will propose a revision bill on the Sejong City plan in mid-February, but wants to wait and see to listen to public opinion.

A leading ruling party member said, “It is not definite that the revision plan will be delayed after the local elections and the presidential office is considering other possibilities.”

The ruling party wants to postpone the plan in the belief that the Chungcheong provinces will not expect benefits to their residents if the revision is made before the local elections.

The party apparently believes that promoting the revised plan and getting evaluated in the local elections is better than making a hasty conclusion. A prolonged discussion could work against the ruling party’s group loyal to former party Chairwoman Park Geun-hye and opposition parties.

Ruling party floor leader Ahn Sang-soo told Dong-A in an interview, “It is political to decide when to pass the bill considering the local elections. We want to revise the Sejong City plan to correct the negative effects of the political approach, so the deadline should not be set for political purposes.”

The main opposition Democratic Party is pressing the presidential office to handle the issue in the extra parliamentary session next month.

Floor leader Lee Kang-rae said, “If the bill comes over to us, we will not pass it with other opposition parties to stop chaos and will push for the original plan. President Lee must clarify how to address this issue.”

surono@donga.com polaris@donga.com