Head of GNP pledges to work closely with Lee

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Head of GNP pledges to work closely with Lee

The chairman of the ruling Grand National Party said yesterday that his party will do its best to reflect public opinion in state affairs and continue to work closely with the Lee Myung-bak administration this year.

In a New Year’s news conference, Ahn Sang-soo also called for an early start to discussions on a constitutional amendment to change the current single-term five-year presidency.

“Our party will do its best to have public opinion fully reflected in state management,” Ahn said at the conference at the party’s headquarters in Seoul.

“We cooperated well with the government over the past three years and will do so in the future,” he added.

Regarding constitutional revision, Ahn said the National Assembly must organize a special committee as early as possible to discuss the issue.

“It is important to create a framework of dialogue to discuss not only the presidential system, but also the people’s basic rights and the separation of legal, administrative and judicial powers,” he said.

The GNP said last week that it will hold a plenary meeting of its lawmakers later this month to discuss a constitutional amendment to end the current restriction on presidential terms and divide power between the president and the prime minister.

The Constitution limits a president to a single five-year term to prevent long-term rule by one leader. Advocates of the revision say the limit creates a presidential “lame duck” syndrome in which the president’s authority weakens in the latter half of the term. Many politicians have said a change is necessary, but discussion has been postponed.

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