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Ruling party adopts political reform plan

Posted March. 01, 2022 07:23,   

Updated March. 01, 2022 07:23


The Democratic Party of Korea held a general meeting on Sunday night and adopted by unanimous consent the political reform plan proposed on Thursday by its leader Song Young-gil. The plan includes the introduction of election system reform to implement a multi-party system, the National Assembly’s recommendation system for a prime minister, a constitutional amendment on a president’s two four-year terms, and a runoff system on a president. Given that the meeting was convened hurriedly after the opposition parties’ breakdown of an agreement on a single candidate, the plan seems to be targeting the upcoming presidential election.

Each reform agenda is a major item that requires sufficient discussions and agreement between the ruling and opposition parties. The National Assembly’s recommendation system for a prime minister was first proposed in 2018 when a presidential bill for a constitutional amendment was submitted to the National Assembly. At the time, the Democratic Party of Korea opposed it by saying that it was a modified or similar parliamentary system. However, this time it was included in the reform plan without much explanation. The proportional representation system linked to National Assembly members and by area presupposed an increase in the number of proportional representation seats, which is only 47 at the moment. It is a sensitive issue to reduce the number of local constituency seats or increase the number of National Assembly members. The introduction of a president’s two four-year terms was first mentioned by the presidential candidate of the party, Lee Jae-myung in January, and now has become the 180-seat party opinion.

It is obvious that the Democratic Party is trying to use the political reform plan as a way to build solidarity with presidential candidates Ahn Cheol-soo and Sim Sang-jung but Yoon Seok-youl’s response is pitiful. “What is the point of a political reform 10 days before the presidential election after tyrannizing as a major party?” he said. He also added that the Democratic Party must believe people are stupid enough to be compared to crawfish, crab, or carp. The ruling party announced a political reform and adopted it as the party’s stance at a general meeting and is making efforts to win the public, regardless of whether it is a political or election trick. Meanwhile, the People Power Party keeps repeating that true political reform is to replace the wicked Democratic Party without putting forward any political reform plan.

Lee and the Democratic Party should refer the political reform plan to public opinion, regardless of the election result, to avoid criticism that it was a trick for the election. Even if Yoon wins, there could be a deadlock with a smaller ruling party and a bigger opposition party. It is curious to see what concrete ideas are there for the decentralization of power and governance, such as how the presidential authorities will be distributed, how to secure the National Assembly’s cooperation, and how the voices of minor parties will be reflected on state affairs. Yoon and the People Power Party should suggest their own political reform plan, rather than continuously criticizing the ruling party’s ‘political show.’