Lee In-young, the floor leader of the Democratic Party of Korea, has suggested to the opposition party passing the bill put forth in March by 148 members of both the ruling and opposition parties to allow the public to propose a bill for constitutional amendment during the provisional session of the National Assembly in May. The bill may not be passed during the 20th National Assembly in case that the United Future Party opposes, but it can be during the 21st National Assembly as long as the Democratic Party of Korea secures additional 20 seats. Given the circumstances, the ruling party seems to bring up such a constitutional amendment more openly.
“A bill to allow the public to propose a bill for constitutional amendment has been proposed in March. The Constitution states that bills must be processed within 60 days. May 9 is the deadline,” Lee In-young told reporters Thursday morning, right after passing a supplementary budget bill. “Regardless of outcomes, starting the procedures to process the bill would be the way to respect the constitutional principles.” The floor leader requested the last provisional session of the 20th National Assembly to be convened to process the “one-point bill for constitutional amendment.”
Many believe that such comments by Lee are a strategic move by the “super ruling party” to amend the Constitution during the 20th National Assembly. “Despite being aware that the bill is unlikely to be passed during the 20th National Assembly, the floor leader aggressively raised the ‘one-point constitutional amendment’ to lay the foundation for the 21st National Assembly to pass the bill,” said a moderate member of the Democratic Party of Korea.
The main opposition United Future Party made it clear that the ruling party’s suggestion is unacceptable. “We will not agree with the schedule proposed by the Democratic Party of Korea,” the party’s floor leader Shim Jae-chul said to The Dong-A Ilbo over the phone on Thursday. “Discussions on the constitutional amendment bill should be handled by the next leadership.”
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