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Ahn vows to relocate administrative, legislative headquarters

Presidential hopeful Ahn Cheol-soo on Wednesday unveiled the electoral pledge that he would seek to relocate the presidential office and the National Assembly to Sejong.

Ahn from the minor opposition People’s Party citied balanced regional development as the background of his pledge.

Presidential hopeful Rep. Ahn Cheol-soo from the People’s Party announces the pledges at the National Assembly in Seoul on Monday. (Yonhap)
Presidential hopeful Rep. Ahn Cheol-soo from the People’s Party announces the pledges at the National Assembly in Seoul on Monday. (Yonhap)

Sejong was initially envisioned by the late President Roh Moo-hyun as a new capital city that could replace the overcrowded Seoul. It is home to 40 government agencies and over 250,000 residents.

Ahn also released some drastic political reform plans, vowing to provide citizens with stronger rights and to reduce the power of the president.

“The Constitutional Court’s ruling on the ouster of (former) President Park Geun-hye shows that no one can stand above citizens and the law,” he told a news briefing at the National Assembly.

Ahn laid out four reform plans: expanding voter rights, balancing regional development, making transparent the election process and efficiently running state affairs.

On expanding voting rights, Ahn said he would reintroduce the initiative law to allow citizens to bill motions, which had been in place until it was abolished in 1972. He also vowed to grant citizens the right to revise laws that the parliament struggles to pass, if elected.

“The president’s authority over human resources shall be reduced,” Ahn said.

If a president is to organize a Cabinet, all the ministerial positions the leader designates should be approved by the parliament, he said.

“We should not demand the voters, who are the masters of this country, to exercise their rights only once in four or five years to choose a leader,” he said. “As voting is stronger than candlelight vigils and a system is stronger than voting, we should make good systems.”

By Jo He-rim (herim@heraldcorp.com)
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