S Korean President offers to revise constitution

Seoul, Oct 24 (IANS) South Korean President Park Geun-hye on Monday offered to revise the country’s constitution that has been maintained for nearly 30years.

In her parliamentary speech for the 2017 budget, Park said she will set up a body within the administration for a constitutional revision to be completed within her term that ends in February 2018, Xinhua news agency reported.

The chief executive said she anticipates a future-oriented constitution for a new “2017 regime”, asking the National Assembly to form a special committee to garner public opinion and discuss the range and content of the proposed amendment.

The so-called “1987 regime” was launched in 1987 by rewriting constitution to adopt the current single, five-year Presidential term under a direct election system.

Previously, the President was elected indirectly under military dictatorships.

Park’s proposal was a surprise reversal in her position as she previously opposed any discussion on the amendment, which she called a possible “black hole” of all national agendas, to focus more on economic and security issues.

“The current constitution of a single, five-year-term presidency, which has been in place for 30-years since its revision in 1987, might be appropriate for the past democratisation period, but it now becomes a piece of clothing that does not fit (our) body,” she said.

She also said “now is the right time” to overcome the 1987 regime and build a new 2017 regime given political schedules of a presidential election slated for late next year.