World Bulletin / News Desk
Previously amended as an antidote to post-Korean War autocratic regimes -- like that of Park’s own father -- the South’s limitation of a single five-year presidential term has been criticized for being too restrictive and out of touch with the country’s global standing.
“With the political system in which we cannot move a step forward due to confrontation and division, we cannot expect a bright future for the country,” Park conceded in a parliamentary speech having previously opposed constitutional reform as an unnecessary distraction.
Now Park is pushing for a two-term overhaul before she leaves office in early 2018, so that Seoul might achieve greater consistency on policies such as pressuring North Korea’s nuclear ambitions.
The difference from one administration to the next has been highlighted by a recent scandal rocking South Korean politics, with the claim being that Seoul consulted with Pyongyang before abstaining from a United Nations vote on the North’s human rights back in 2007.
If successfully carried out, a constitutional change could benefit outgoing UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon as he decides his political future.
The 72-year-old South Korean’s runaway leader status in local polls makes him a realistic contender to succeed Park even though he has not yet indicated a firm willingness to enter next year’s presidential race.