December 18, 2003
Roh sends Assembly political reform plan
President calls for multi-seat constituencies, more lawmakers
President Roh Moo-hyun yesterday unveiled a package of reform measures aimed at
speeding up the much-touted political cleanup operation ahead of the general
elections in April next year.
In a letter delivered to National Assembly speaker Park Kwan-yong, Roh called
on lawmakers to adopt a "multiple-seat system," with five or more
lawmakers per constituency.
The letter was also sent to leaders of all political parties and the chairmen
of the related parliamentary committees and all other lawmakers.
To keep the current "single" electoral system, in which one
lawmaker is elected from each district, Roh supported the introduction of the
proportional representation system, in which seats are allocated to parties
according to the number of votes each party receives.
Roh's reform initiatives also included increasing the number of lawmakers if
and when the proportional representation system is adopted and maintaining
political parties' regional offices.
The move came after Roh said Tuesday that he would undergo questioning if the
prosecution requested it after uncovering his election camp's use of improper
funds during the presidential election last December.
In a televised news conference, he urged all political parties to cooperate
with the prosecution's investigation into their illegal fund raising in a bid to
achieve clean and transparent politics.
Roh said he believed the "current hardships" would help forge a
path toward a new era of political reform, asserting that, despite allegations
of illegal fund raising, "the presidential election expenses declined by
one-tenth compared with previous presidential election campaigns."
By Sim Sung-tae