Advisory panel of National Assembly’s political reform committee unveils proposal on electoral reform



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Name: Advisory panel of National Assembly’s political reform committee unveils proposal on electoral reform
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Description: At South Korea's National Assembly, an advisory panel on political reform has unveiled its proposal to reform how the people vote for their parliamentary representatives.While the minor parties welcomed Wednesday's recommendation,... it didn't satisfy the bigger parties -- casting a cloud over future negotiations.Kim Min-ji reports. For some time, a hot potato at the National Assembly has been how to revamp the country's electoral system -- especially with general elections taking place in April next year.Amid slow progress in negotiations between the rival parties,... a panel of advisors to the parliament's special committee on political reform unveiled its recommendation on Wednesday -- which would strengthen proportional representation.Currently, in the 300-member National Assembly,... there are 2-hundred-53 seats that go to the individual candidate who gets the most votes in his or her district,... while the other 47 are based on nationwide vote by party preference. "The people want elections to be more proportional and representative. The current problem is that people's votes are not tied to the parliamentary seats. Reducing this gap would require the adoption of a mixed-member proportional system."The proposal would raise the number of seats in the National Assembly to 3-hundred-60... to make room for more members to be elected by proportional representation.But the budget allocated to parliament would not be increased,... since the public is against the idea of increasing the number of lawmakers.The proposal would also reform how proportional candidates are nominated -- so that they would be chosen in a more democratic way and include representatives of various groups in society.The advisory panel also recommends that the voting age be lowered by one year to 18.Rival parties are expected to continue their negotiations,.... taking the proposal into account, but progress is not likely to come easy.The proposal is seen as more favorable to minor parties that can't field candidates in many districts."All the parties should lay out their positions after reviewing the proposal and do everything possible to reach a conclusion on this matter. Now is the time for the National Assembly to respond to the people's demands. We must work through our differences and reach a deal.The electoral map needs to be finalized one year before the next election -- giving the parties just over three months.It's a tough road ahead,... given the time it takes to make such revisions,.... especially when they're already divided over a number of other issues.Kim Min-ji, Arirang News.

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