Posts tagged ‘National Assembly’
September 25, 2011
On 24 September 2011, the prospects of a return to the presidency for Vladimir Putin were bolstered by an announcement confirming his candidature for the March 2012 presidential elections at the annual congress of the leading party, United Russia. Read more
September 14, 2011
On 13 September 2011, the White House announced the President Obama would receive President Lee Myung-bak and his wife on 13 October 2011 for a state visit. The two leaders are expected to discuss a range of economic and security issues, including progress towards implementation of the Korea-United States (KORUS) Free Trade Agreement (FTA). Read more
September 13, 2011
United States Trade Representative (USTR) Ron Kirk has stated he remains hopeful that the Korea-United States (KORUS) Free Trade Agreements (FTA) will be passed in time for an announcement at the November 2011 Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Leaders’ Summit in Hawaii. Read more
February 16, 2011
During 8-10 March 2011, a three-day meeting to discuss revisions to the constitution was attended by 125 National Assembly representatives of the Grand National Party (GNP).
The key agenda item was revision of the constitution to change the presidential term of office from the current single five-year term to a four-year term with one chance for re-election. Constitutional revision to allow for two-term presidency has been on the national political agenda for a considerable period of time.
Supporters contend that a two-term presidency will increase the willingness of the president to negotiate with his or her opponents and encourage a first-term presidential administration to better reflect the will of the people. However, there is little chance of constitutional revision gaining wider public support.
Constitutional revision is perceived as a non-critical issue and cannot compete for public attention with issues that currently have a more direct effect on the national population, such as food and energy price rises, inflation, and national security. Further, the public holds a dim view of political infighting over what is perceived as a non-critical issue. The issue is highly contested within the ruling GNP; with several notable pro-Park Geun-Hye faction stalwarts not attending the 8-10 March meeting; and is currently not supported by the opposition parties.
February 14, 2011
At a press conference on 13 February 2011, Democratic Party chairman, Sohn Hak-Kyu, stated that the Democratic Party (DP) would return to the National Assembly.
The decision ends the DP’s two-month boycott of the National Assembly, which commenced 8 December 2010, after the ruling Grand National Party (GNP) forced through its 2011 budget bill. One of the key upcoming agenda items will be legislation to implement the Korea-United States (KORUS) Free Trade Agreement (FTA), after both sides signed the supplementary agreement on 10 February 2011.
Both the DP and Democratic Labor Party (DLP) oppose ratification, claiming the original FTA has been altered by the supplementary agreements, making it necessary to undertake a complete review of the FTA. However, the DP will find it difficult to rally wider public support in opposition to the KORUS FTA.
Throughout 2010-11, the DP has maintained a policy focus on social issues, including universal welfare services; such as school lunches, healthcare, and childcare; and the financial, taxation and regulatory reform required to support these policies. It will prove difficult for the DP to present opposition to the KORUS FTA in the same frame. In addition, anti-Americanism is currently at a low-level as a result of proactive USFK and US State Department measures, as well as increased public concern regarding North Korea. Wider public support for opposition to the KORUS FTA is unlikely to materialize.
January 10, 2011
On 6 January 2010, Chung Mong-Joon failed to win a fifth term as FIFA Vice-President and stood down from the FIFA Executive Committee.
The failure to secure a fifth term was the result of internal FIFA politics with incumbent President Sepp Blatter throwing his support behind Jordan’s Prince Ali bin Hussein and a coalition of West Asian football federations in order to avoid facing Chung as a future rival in the race for the FIFA presidency.
Chung’s defeat also has an impact on Korean domestic politics. His failure to both secure the World Cup for Korea in 2022 and to secure his position as FIFA Vice-President will have a dual effect. Given the nature of the defeat, it may provide a degree of nationalist sympathy amongst voters and allow Chung to pay closer attention to domestic politics.
However, it may also demonstrate a degree of ineffectiveness in diplomacy and negotiation, which was considered to be his area of strength. While Chung already has a solid party base and infrastructure from which to run a Presidential campaign, success will ultimately depend on the fate of Park Geun-Hye. Park currently holds an enormous influence within the GNP and a preference rating of 30-40 percent in public polling.
January 1, 2011
A group of twelve lawmakers from the ruling and opposition parties have introduced a bill into the National Assembly to allow for the establishment of a ‘unification tax’.
The bill calls for individuals and companies to pay 2 percent of their income tax towards the cost of unification; businesses to pay 0.5 percent of corporate tax as unification tax; and individuals to pay 5 percent of inheritance or gift taxes as unification tax.
The bill initiates legislative debate on practical measures to prepare for unification, as proposed by President Lee Myung-Bak in his Liberation Day speech, 15 August 2010. The proposal for a unification tax was not warmly welcomed at the time.
Lee has since reiterated concerns regarding the immanency of unification, which combined with North Korean behavior, have led to the tax proposal gaining wider acceptance. Practical measures to prepare for unification are becoming an increasingly frequent aspect of political debate, as concern regarding imminent and abrupt unification increases.