April 25, 2018 13:36
President Moon Jae-in on Tuesday expressed disappointment over the National Assembly's failure to revise the referendum law so he can put a constitutional revision bill to the electorate in time for regional elections in June.
"Parliament did not even take one look at the proposed bill, motioned by the president with the collective will of the people," he claimed. "It is a shame to miss this chance to revise the Constitution."
The National Election Commission notified the National Assembly that in order to hold the referendum during the regional elections, relevant laws must be revised by Monday, but the parties were unable to reach an agreement by the deadline.
The motion never really stood a chance since Moon's Minjoo Party has only a small majority in the National Assembly. But it was widely seen as a way of testing the waters and making the opposition look obstructive in the run-up to the elections.
In a Cabinet meeting on Tuesday, Moon said, "I cannot keep the promise I made to the people about amending the Constitution during the regional elections this time. I express my regret and disappointment to the people."
Moon's proposal to revise the Constitution included some new independent checks and balances on government but was widely seen as falling short in curbing the president's near-regal powers and devolving some of them to parliament.
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