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Pres. candidates to soon launch joint political reform body

Pres. candidates to soon launch joint political reform body

Posted November. 20, 2012 08:51,   


A so-called consultative body for political reform proposed by Ahn Dae-hee, head of the political reform committee for ruling Saenuri Party presidential candidate Park Geun-hye, to main opposition Democratic United Party candidate Moon Jae-in and independent Ahn Cheol-soo will likely be launched soon after agreement by the three sides.

This is the first time in Korea for all of the leading candidates to participate in a forum on political reform ahead of a presidential election.

Park Sun-sook, co-chair of Ahn’s election preparatory team, quoted Ahn as saying Monday, “It would be nice if both the ruling and opposition parties and the three presidential candidates agree on political reform,” adding, “The three should gather immediately and demonstrate to the public action to implement political reform before the election.”

Jeong Ok-im, spokeswoman for Saenuri’s special committee on political reform, responded by saying, “We welcome candidate Ahn’s decision to accept the establishment of a consultative body on political reform implementation,” adding, “Since political reform plans proposed by the three candidates apparently have common elements, it is truly an obligation of politicians to form a body to implement the plans and thus pave the way for political reform.”

Moon had earlier announced his intent to accept the offer from Ahn. Moon’s spokesman Jin Seong-joon told a media briefing, “We once said we were waiting for a call (from the ruling party), but they haven`t sent us a specific proposal to establish the body,” adding, “(Upon receiving the message), we will join the initiative irrespective of format and contents. It would be nice if the three sides discuss the extension of voting hours without restriction as well.”

Several political reform plans proposed by the three sides are similar in nature, including limiting a party headquarters’ right to nominate candidates and other privileges, cutting the president’s authority including the power to appoint top posts, concessions about lawmakers’ special privileges, and establishment of an investigative body exclusively targeting influence-peddling and corruption scandals involving the power elite.