Nat’l Assembly thwarts plans for Constitutional amendment referendum

February 15, 2020

Koreans won’t be voting on a referendum on
the revision of the nation’s Constitution. A step deemed crucial for the realization
of the amendment was blocked at the national assembly. President Moon Jae-in expressed regret over
the matter, apologizing for not being able to keep his promise with the public. Kim Mok-yeon has the full story. “The Referendum Act was not revised in time,
so the plan to hold a public vote on the Constitution and the local government elections simultaneously
was thwarted. The National Assembly did not even deliberate
on the constitutional amendment I proposed, a proposal that reflected the will of the
people.” Chairing the eighteenth cabinet meeting on
Tuesday, President Moon Jae-in expressed regret over the thwarted plan to revise the National
Referendum Act. In order for the public vote on the constitutional
revision to be held alongside the local elections in June, Monday was the deadline for the Referendum
act to be changed. The current referendum law remains null and
void as it was ruled unconstitutional in 2014… for limiting the voting rights of Koreans
residing overseas. President Moon further underscored that the
proposed constitutional amendment is not intended to benefit neither the ruling party nor the
president, but is aimed at ensuring the basic rights of every Korean citizen. Following the president’s remarks,… political
parties started to blame one another for the failure in reaching a consensus. Lawmakers from the ruling Democratic Party
put the blame on the main opposition Liberty Korea Party, accusing it of intentionally
disrupting the constitutional amendment, while those from the Liberty Korea Party criticized
the government and the Democratic Party for handing over a rough proposal that forwent
proper legal procedure in order to pass a rushed constitutional amendment by the June
elections. Considering the current situation, President
Moon said that he will decide what to do with his government proposal on the constitution’s
revision, after the 2018 inter-Korean summit set for Friday. The president is yet to decide whether he
would push for the passage of the government proposal or take it back, but if he decides
to go with the former, the National assembly has until May 24th to vote on the draft bill. Kim Mok-yeon, Arirang News.

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