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Park Geun Hye Suggests Constitutional Amendment

by YuGee / Oct 24, 2016 05:53 AM EDT
Man arrested after climbing bridge tower in Busan in an anti-Presidential protest.

On Monday, South Korean president Park Geun-Hye suggested a constitutional revision, a move which observers say mirrors her eagerness to lead the growing debate on the highly divisive issue, Yonhap News reported.

During her speech to develop budget plans for 2017, the President stated that her government will create a body to prepare for the revision with the aim of achieving it within her term, which will end in February 2018.

In the past, Park opposed the revision of the constitution stating that there are more pressing issues that need to be addressed and resolved, including the increasing missile and nuclear provocations from North Korea.

Park reiterated the need for a change in the existing single, five-year presidential terms. She stated, "The single, five-year presidential term under the Constitution, which has been in force for the last three decades since its last amendment in 1987, might be suited for the past democratization period, but it has now become clothes that no longer fit our body."

She continued, "With the political system in which we cannot move a step forward due to confrontation and division, we cannot expect a bright future for the country."

However, various political groups are divided over how to change the Constitution, predicting an intense debate before they have consensus over the issue. Senior Presidential Secretary for Political Affairs Kim Jae Won said that the President ordered preparations for the amendment at the end of the Chuseok holiday in September. He commented, "I believe that the president can spur the discussions on the revision by expressing her opinion or will towards it if discussions at the legislature become lackluster due to the conflict over political interests."

President Park also encouraged the Assembly to beat the deadline for the budget review on December 2. She said, "I ask the 20th National Assembly to meet the legal deadline for its first budget deliberations and to give hope of new politics to people by setting pending issues through dialogue and compromise."

"To overcome current economic and security challenges and lay the foundation for the 30-year growth of the next generation, we have drawn up budget plans in the maximum expansionary way - within the range that does not undermine our mid- and long-term fiscal health," she added. 

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