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GNP to push for constitutional revision committee

The ruling party will push to organize a special legislative committee for a constitutional amendment during next month’s extraordinary parliamentary session, its floor leader said Thursday, a move aimed at putting the sensitive issue to an open public debate.

The Grand National Party’s internal discussion about revising the Constitution to allow the president to seek re-election has recently gained momentum. President Lee Myung-bak raised the need to change the current single five-year presidency law and other parts of the Constitution so it can reflect times on important issues such as basic rights and gender equality.

“By law, the parliament is required to convene an extraordinary session on the first day of every second month,” GNP floor leader Kim Moo-sung said during a high-level policy consultation meeting between the party and the government.

“So we are going to submit a request for the convention on Friday to start a month-long extraordinary session from Feb. 1,” Kim said. 
Rep. Lee Koon-hyon of the ruling Grand National Party delivers an opening address during a forum on constitutional revision at the National Assembly on Thursday. (Yonhap News)
Rep. Lee Koon-hyon of the ruling Grand National Party delivers an opening address during a forum on constitutional revision at the National Assembly on Thursday. (Yonhap News)

The meeting was held at the prime minister’s official residence and attended by 19 senior party officials, including Chairman Ahn Sang-soo and Kim, Prime Minister Kim Hwang-sik, 14 Cabinet ministers and five presidential aides.

The GNP floor leader predicted that such contentious issues as the opposition’s “populist” welfare drive, inflation, soaring housing rental costs and the outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease will dominate the February session.

Constitutional revision can also become a hot issue, he added. (Yonhap News)
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