Democratic Party chief vows to reform politics in his parliamentary speechUpdated: 2014-02-06 AM 6:28:00 (KST)
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."
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