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Assembly speaker expresses bid to run in 2016 general elections, breaking norms

Assembly speaker expresses bid to run in 2016 general elections, breaking norms

Posted September. 01, 2015 22:01,   


There are controversies over National Assembly Speaker Chung Ui-hwa`s declaration of his bid for a parliamentary seat in his district in Busan in next year`s general elections. Since 2004, it has been an unwritten rule that a former National Assembly speaker do not run in a parliamentary election.

When asked during his appearance on a radio talk show whether he planned to run in Busan in next year`s parliamentary elections, he replied, "Yes."

During a meeting with reporters later in the day, he reaffirmed his bid, saying, "It is natural for me to run in my electoral district." Regarding the practice of former Assembly speakers not running in general elections, he said, "I think differently." He also expressed hope that all of his predecessors will return to the National Assembly next year as proportional representatives in order to achieve a balance between elders and younger lawmakers in the parliament.

Asked if he planned to return to the ruling Saenuri Party, he answered, "Of course, I will. Even if I run, I will do so while performing my duty as the speaker." Under current law, the National Assembly speaker cannot have any party affiliation and is allowed to do so from 90 days before the end of his or her term.

Some other politicians speculated that Chung`s remarks were intended to sound out the political atmosphere. It is said that Chung expressed displeasure when his electoral district was mentioned as a candidate for redistricting. A Saenuri official said, "When an incumbent lawmaker vows not to run in the next year election, the vacant constituency usually gets flooded with competitors. Even if he does not intend to actually run, he made the remarks in an attempt to prevent any noise in his constituency."