[EDITORIALS]Playing games with elections

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[EDITORIALS]Playing games with elections

The special committee for political reform in the National Assembly has asked for more time to work on amendments to election laws. The Assembly would have to pass a resolution during a plenary session to give that approval for an extension.
More time will be wasted.
The committee’s life has been extended twice already, and this request is a habitual dereliction of duty.
While the committee was drifting, Assembly election day approaches and is now 50 days away. The National Election Commission is worried about snags in preparing for the election.
The Association of Korean Government Officials, a member of the commission, issued a statement yesterday backing a quick amendment of election laws to oversee the election.
Both the ruling and opposition parties agreed to form committees to supervise political debates on television and oversee media reports on the Internet, but they could not select members of those committees because the election laws have not been reformed. An association of election watchers, which political parties and the commission planned to set up, has not yet been launched. These committees and the association should have been formed 120 days before the election.
Electoral districts are not yet defined. It should have been done a year before the April 15 election. New candidates hoping to run in the election already have been damaged. Under the current election laws, new candidates cannot even hand out their name cards. Thus, although the election is near, they can do nothing but watch the incumbent lawmakers’ election campaigns.
The committee secretly tried to block a plan for electoral districts for women only and tried to increase the number of seats in the Assembly to 299 from 273. Despite the howls from politicians, the committee members did not come to their senses.
The Constitutional Court has ruled that the current districts are illegal. The modifications to district boundaries must be done before the election. The parties should not hinder the election in a bid to prevent constituencies they represent from disappearing. The amendments should be done quickly and fairly.
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