Gov’t begins own efforts to amend Constitution

SEOUL, The government opened a new website of its special advisory council on constitutional change Monday, putting further pressure on the parliament to come up with its own bill in time or face dealing with a government proposal.

The website, www.constitution.go.kr, is designed to work as an open forum for anyone to offer their own views on a set of preselected items that currently include giving legislative power to local governments and enhancing the basic rights of the people.

The people may also suggest new items to be included in the envisioned constitutional revision on the website or through phone text messages at 1688-9782.

The special advisory council was launched earlier this month at the instruction of President Moon Jae-in, who earlier stressed a need to come up with a constitutional revision bill before the end of March in order to have the proposal put to a vote concurrently with the June local elections.

He claims a separate national referendum on a constitutional amendment will cost the government 120 billion won (US$112.3 million).

All major political parties and their candidates had advocated a need to revise the Constitution in the lead-up to the presidential by-election held in May last year.

However, parliamentary discussions have stalled since, partly amid differences on how to rearrange election districts.

The country's Constitution was last amended in 1987.

Key issues in the envisioned change also include removing the current limit on the presidency to a single five-year term to allow a one-time re-election for a maximum of two four-year terms.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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