And at the National Assembly， discussions
continue for redrawing constituency boundaries for next year′s general elections
Park Ji－won has the details. In March， the National Assembly formed a
special committee to determine how to redraw the nation′s electoral boundaries.
It has become one of the parliament′s central topics，.. as the Constitutional Court ruled
last year that the nation′s electoral districts should be re－drawn to address the unequal
representation of votes due to population differences in each constituency.
Rival parties have so far agreed to maintain the total number of lawmakers at the current
three－hundred，… but the two parties have yet to agree on how many of these should
be allocated to proportional representatives and how many to local representatives.
Currently， 54 seats are being given for proportional representatives，.. and the
remaining 246 seats are for local representatives. The ruling Saenuri Party wants the number
of local representatives increased，… saying a simple attempt to equalize population representation
among constituencies could be harmful to agricultural and fisheries communities，… as they tend
to have smaller populations. ″Our party believes that the number of local
representatives should not be cut，.. especially those of farming and fishing communities，…
to overcome many problems that those communities are facing.″
But the main opposition New Politics Alliance for Democracy wants the number of proportional
seats to at least remain the same，.. even at the expense of cutting the number of local
representatives. They believe reducing the number of local
representatives could help mitigate the nation′s chronic regionalism. ″We need to question ourselves whether important
values like balancing national development and addressing agricultural communities′
problems，.. could be only protected by the number of lawmakers.″
The National Election Commission has recommended the parliament decide the number of local
representatives within a range of 244 to 249. If the assembly fails to come up with an agreement
by mid－October，… the commission plans to submit its own redrawing plan，… to
meet the legal deadline for the submission of plans.
Park Ji－won， Arirang News.