Poll shows distrust in lawmakers

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Poll shows distrust in lawmakers

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Eight out of 10 voters believe that lawmakers should be exempt from redrawing a new national electoral constituency map, a JoongAng Ilbo poll showed.

Last month, the Constitutional Court ruled that the current electoral district map is unconstitutional based on unequal representation caused by population disproportions.

The ratio of the most populous electoral district to the least populous must be lower than two to one, the court said, ordering the legislature to revise the election law to meet the new standard by Dec. 31, 2015.

In a telephone survey conducted from Friday to Saturday, the JoongAng Ilbo asked 1,000 voters nationwide about their views regarding the upcoming redistricting. The ruling is expected to restructure the country’s political landscape before the next legislative election in April 2016.

According to the poll, 44.1 percent said a new independent body separate from the National Assembly and the National Election Commission (NEC) should be created to redraw the map, while 36 percent said the NEC should take responsibility for that task.

Only 14.2 percent said the National Assembly’s Special Committee on Political Reform should be in charge of the redistricting.

The results show that more than 80 percent of the public wants the National Assembly to stay out of the redistricting, challenging the current system in which the legislature is required to draw up constituencies.

According to the poll, 40.9 percent said the number of electoral districts must be increased and the number of proportional representatives slashed, while the total number of National Assembly seats be kept at 300. Currently, 54 seats are occupied by proportional representatives. Another 33.1 percent said the current composition of seats should be maintained, while redistricting should create a new constituency map. Another 12.3 percent said more seats should be created to reflect the increase in populations.

Asked if the country’s Constitution should be amended to change the current single-term five-year presidential system, 57.3 percent of respondents said that they want to change the Constitution, while 40.3 percent opposed the change.

According to the poll, 44.7 percent preferred the U.S. presidential system, in which the president serves a four-year term with the possibility of reelection. Another 33.8 percent preferred the current five-year single-term presidency. Another 9.7 percent said Korea should adopt the semi-presidential system, while 9.3 percent preferred the parliamentary cabinet system.

The survey had a 95 percent confidence level with a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.


BY KIM JUNG-HA, SER MYO-JA [myoja@joongang.co.kr]

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