Op-ed: South Korea's president should push for constitutional amendment to term limits

By Lee Seog-yeon, 17 April
President Yoon Suk-yeol of South Korea (photo credit: Number 10 via flickr)
President Yoon Suk-yeol of South Korea (photo credit: Number 10 via flickr)
As a person who has studied constitutional theory and constitutional applications for over 40 years, I offer a suggestion to our president. It’s time to revisit and rework the 1987 version of our Constitution, which has been our republic’s foundation for the past 50 years, and legally shorten the presidential term by one year so that presidents can carry out their governance without major obstacles in the time they’re afforded.  But I’m suggesting more than just a revision of our power structure. I think we are in dire need of an overhaul of the entire Constitution, a strengthening of our national identity, legal guarantees of modern basic rights, a reformation of the Board of Audit and Inspection and other agencies, increased autonomy of local governments — including educational autonomy, and economic policy revisions.  If it takes too much time to secure public approval for these constitutional revisions, we can settle on a single amendment that allows a two-term presidency, with one term being four years. The only constitutional republic other than South Korea that limits a president to a single term is Uruguay. The single-term system was originally put in place to prevent a long-term dictatorship. Yet in a direct democracy like ours, it limits the right of the people to judge its president, and is therefore in opposition to the principles of democracy. Empirical evidence suggests that our system of single five-year presidential terms has failed. It is embarrassing that time and again, we’ve failed to produce a president that leaves office to applause rather than boos.
Read the full article here: Hankyoreh


Post new comment

This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.