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Parliament speaker suggests constitutional amendment for unity

Parliament speaker suggests constitutional amendment for unity

Posted July. 18, 2022 08:00,   

Updated July. 18, 2022 08:00


National Assembly Speaker Kim Jin-pyo said on Sunday, “We will seek constitutional amendment designed to unify the public,” suggesting anew the need for constitutional revision. However, the ruling People Power Party immediately expressed objection, saying, “Now is not the time to discuss constitutional amendment.”

“Only when we open an era of new constitutional government, then can the Republic of Korea can make progress and safeguard people’s livelihood by going beyond politics of conflict. The starting point is constitutional amendment,” Kim said in his speech at the commemorative ceremony on the 74th Constitution Day, which took place at the National Assembly in Yeouido, Seoul on Sunday. “There are people who express concerns over the possibility that discussions about constitutional amendment will suck in everything like Black Hole and cause disruptions in administration of state affairs. Let us push for a constitutional revision in a way that brings the public’s energy together to open up the future and unifies the people.” To this end, Kim said he will seek to organize an advisory committee of experts on constitutional amendment directly under his office.

Speaker Kim is considered one of key figures promoting constitutional amendment in the National Assembly and has been emphasizing the need for constitutional amendment throughout his career in politics. In his inaugural speech early this month, Kim said, “We can no longer postpone the inclusion of the spirit of the May 18 (1980) uprising for democratization in the Constitution, and revision of power structures to overcome shortfalls and problems with the system of imperialistic presidency,” to express his commitment to constitutional change. He has been proposing the need for constitutional amendment designed to disperse power, which will introduce two-term presidency and reduction of presidential powers.”

The rival parties showed mixed reactions to speaker Kim’s suggestion. “We are in early days of the new administration, and it is time that the government introduce new policies and instill new energy to the people,” said Kwon Seong-dong, interim chair and floor leader of the People Power Party.

“If a special committee on constitutional amendment is formed, all focuses and attentions could be sucked into that, which will not be helpful,” Kwon said. “I think that (constitutional amendment) should be taken decisively by focusing on a certain area, and the move to revise entire articles and clauses starting from basic rights could lead to a situation where efforts will only start but will never be concluded.”

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