President reaffirms efforts to amend Constitution

By Yonhap
  • Published : Mar 13, 2018 - 09:19
  • Updated : Mar 13, 2018 - 14:57
President Moon Jae-in reiterated his efforts to revise the country's Constitution Tuesday, apparently putting pressure on political parties to either come up with their own proposal for constitutional change or be prepared to consider a government bill.

"Revising the Constitution is a way of constitutionally realizing the people's demand to build a nation that deserves to be called a nation. That is why all political parties and their presidential candidates made a promise to the people to put a constitutional amendment to vote concurrently with the local elections," the president said while meeting with members of a special advisory committee on constitutional revision at his office Cheong Wa Dae.

"I wish to once again underscore (the fact). Holding a vote on the constitutional revision concurrently with the June local elections is a rare chance that may never come around again, and it is also a way of saving our taxpayers' money," Moon said, according to Cheong Wa Dae pool reports.


His remarks came as the special advisory committee presented its report to the president, wrapping up its near two-month discussions to come up with a rough draft for a government proposal for constitutional revision.

A Cheong Wa Dae official earlier said the president was expected to submit the government bill to the National Assembly before next Wednesday.

The president has noted any bill would have to be submitted before the end of March as parliament requires up to 60 days for its deliberations. The local elections are slated to be held June 13.

Still, the president said the government may withdraw its proposal should the parliament come up with its own in time.

"I believe it is still not too late. I believe they can still find common ground as long as they have the willingness to do so," he told the meeting.

Cheong Wa Dae officials earlier said the government will build on the committee's report to craft its final proposal.

The committee report is said to call for a change to the presidential system.

Currently, the presidency is limited to a single five-year term. The committee report seeks to make the term four years and allow a one-time, consecutive re-election.

A one-time re-election to a consecutive term means those who fail to be re-elected immediately following his or her initial term will be barred from running for the top executive office again, committee officials have said.

The committee is also expected to recommend the introduction of runoff voting in presidential elections.

Other major changes are said to include increased autonomy for local governments.

The constitutional amendment, if enacted, will take effect immediately.

However, changes regarding the presidency will not affect or benefit Moon as the Constitution prohibits any changes that affect the incumbent leader. (Yonhap)