South Korea’s Park Geun-hye wants constitution reform to allow more than single presidential term

October 24, 2016 8:30 am

South Korean President delivers a speech on the 2017 budget bill during a plenary session at the National Assembly in Seoul, , October 24, 2016. (Photo by Reuters)

South Korean President Park Geun-hye has proposed changes to the country’s constitution to allow presidents to serve more than a single term.
According to a 1987 constitutional amendment, which ended South ’s military dictatorship, the country’s president is restricted to a single five-year term in office.
Park, the first woman to have been elected president in South Korea, argued in an address to the parliament on Monday that the single-term presidency hinders the continuance of specific policies.
“Through the single-term presidency, it is difficult to maintain policy continuance, see results of policy and engage in unified foreign policy,” she said.
“I’ve reached a conclusion that we can no longer delay discussing amending the constitution, which was also my campaign promise, to break down limits we face in the big picture for the Republic of Korea’s sustainable development,” the president said.
Park, whose term will end in February 2018, also called on the parliament to establish a special committee to begin discussions for altering the constitution to allow two presidential terms.
The office of the South Korean president stressed that Park herself would not be running for a second term if the constitution was modified.
Amendments proposed by South Korea’s president or parliament have to be passed by the single-chamber assembly, and then approved by a national referendum.
According to a Realmeter poll released in June, 70 percent of South Koreans believe the current constitution should be revised and 40 percent think that allowing two four-year presidential terms would be more desirable.
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