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Rival parties agree to ‘voting system reform’ by January

Rival parties agree to ‘voting system reform’ by January

Posted December. 17, 2018 07:47,   

Updated December. 17, 2018 07:47

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The ruling and opposition parties agreed to proactively seek ways to introduce a new proportional representation system in which parliamentary seats are tied to the percentage of voters' support for different parties, and to pass a bill to reform the election system in an extra parliamentary session in January. The deal is merely an agreement in principle, while rival parties still demand different election systems. Nevertheless, it is notable that the parties started discussions about reshuffle of the voting system ahead of the 2020 general elections. The three minor parties, namely the liberal conservative Bareunmirae Party and the liberal Democratic Peace Party and the progressive Justice Party, ended their hunger strikes that they had staged at the National Assembly to demand reform of the electoral system.

The floor leaders of the ruling Democratic Party, the main opposition Liberty Korea and three other minor opposition parties met at the National Assembly on Saturday and announced an agreement to reform the voting system to that effect.

Earlier on Friday, receiving National Assembly Speaker Moon Hee-sang at the presidential office, President Moon Jae-in said, “If the rival parties reach agreement based on the bill from the National Election Commission, I will join the parties to accept it in my capacity as president.” However, as the parliamentary majority Democratic Party and the Liberty Korea Party remain opposed to the introduction of a proportional representation system in which parliamentary seats are tied to the percentage of voters' support for different parties while the rival parties are still in conflict so intense that they cannot even afford to discuss the reshuffle of power structure. As such, watchers way that they will unlikely be able to come up with concrete outcomes in the extra session in January.


Sang-Un Kim sukim@donga.com