National Assembly Speaker Park Byeong-seug on Wednesday suggested holding the presidential election and local elections simultaneous in 2022.
“I hope that we can conclude this issue next year as the two elections will be held three months apart in the first half of 2022, which could lead to quite a bit of waste of national resources,” he said during a press conference held to mark his 100-day anniversary in office.
He urged lawmakers to deal with bills related to COVID-19 and other noncontroversial bills during this regular session, which kicked off Sept. 1.
“The election season will continue from next year to the first half of 2022. We have no time to waste,” Park said.
Park said the parliament should play a significant role in preparing for a paradigm shift for a future that no one expected before the new coronavirus pandemic.
“We should work promptly and preemptively to protect the livelihood of the people by adjusting priorities of national tasks, cultivating the spirit of community, which is the key for the country’s antivirus measures, and solidarity with global citizens in response to climate change.”
He rattled off the list of what the ruling and opposition parties should address for the overhaul of the parliament, including adjustments to the Legislation and Judiciary Committee -- one of the standing committees whose leadership the rival parties have bickered over.
Park called for bipartisan support on the plan to relocate the National Assembly from Seoul to the administrative city of Sejong to spur balanced development in the country.
He also requested that lawmakers adopt a resolution urging inter-Korean parliamentary talks, saying he will not just wait, although the relationship between South and North Korea is going through a difficult time.
After experiencing shutdowns three times due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the National Assembly will expand the use of contactless videoconferencing for meetings of standing committees during the September regular session, he said.
By Park Han-na (firstname.lastname@example.org