Democratic Party chief vows to reform politics in his parliamentary speech
Following his ruling party counterpart’s speech
on Tuesday, the head of the main opposition Democratic Party delivered his keynote speech
at the National Assembly on Wednesday. Kim Han-gil vowed to reform politics and push
for narrowing the gap between the haves and have-nots.
Kim Yeon-ji reports. Addressing the full assembly and members of President Park Geun-hye’s Cabinet
on Wednesday, Democratic Party chief, Kim Han-gil, said his party will be at the forefront
of reforming parliament and party politics. “We will push for the passage of our bill
aimed at preventing lawmakers from abusing their privileges. For this, we will work towards
setting up an independent ethics committee that can keep a watch on lawmakers and execute
the contents of this bill.” Earlier this week, the Democratic Party leadership
issued a political reform proposal that centers around scrapping the privileges of lawmakers
and includes having all lawmakers report to an independent ethics committee their plans
for overseas travel and commemoration ceremonies
for the publication of their books. Kim also called for a rigorous reform of the
parliamentary system itself. Specifically, he proposed having the parliament
open year-round, operating the parliament’s budget committee at all times, and constantly
carrying out a parliamentary audit of the government.
Kim said… his party will fight the government’s downsized basic old-age pension plan, saying
President Park must fulfill her original pledge to give all senior citizens aged 65 and above
200-thousand won, or 185 U.S. dollars, every month.
He also said his party opposes the government’s policy to allow hospitals to form for-profit
subsidiaries, saying the health care sector should be made more public, not less.
He stressed that reunification with North Korea is not something that can be obtained
overnight. “President Park said reunification will be
like a jackpot. That has created a rosy fantasy that reunification will come easy and quickly.
I am concerned about this situation.” Saying the public needs to agree on how to
prepare for a peaceful reunification with North Korea, Kim called for the establishment
of a preparatory body, comprised of the government, lawmakers, and civic leaders.
Kim Yeon-ji, Arirang News.