DP urges minor parties to reconsider best loser system

Dec 19, 2019, 08:43 am

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The chiefs of three minor parties and one fringe group negotiate over an electoral reform bill at the National Assembly in Seoul on Dec. 18, 2019./ Source: Yonhap

By AsiaToday reporter Lim Yoo-jin 

Three minor parties and one fringe group participating in the so-called four plus one consultative body reached an agreement over a fast-tracked election reform bill Wednesday. However, the ruling Democratic Party (DP) requested reconsideration on the adoption of a new election rule, which allows a candidate who loses in district elections by a thin margin to get a proportional representation (PR) seat. The DP also called for a one-point parliamentary session to focus on passing bills related to people’s livelihoods.

The ruling party reached such conclusion after discussing Wednesday about the temporary adoption of capping the number of PR seats under the mixed-member PR system at 30 out of 50 for next year’s general elections and the introduction of the best loser system, according to DP floor spokesperson Park Chan-dae.

“Among the deals reached by the three plus one (the Bareunmirae Party, the Justice Party, the Party for Democracy and Peace and New Alternatives), we decided to accept their demand to impose a cap on the number of PR seats at 30,” Park said. “There were more negative comments about the best loser system. This why I hope the opposition representatives will reconsider the new rule.”

“Along with the four plus one consultative body, we agreed to carry out further negotiations on the details of election law,” he added. The DP suggested both the Liberty Korea Party (LKP) and the consultative body to open a one-point parliamentary session to focus on budget bills and other pending bills related to people’s livelihoods. 

Previously, the four minor parties announced its agreement on an electoral reform bill in an effort to apply new rules for next year’s general elections. They decided to accept the DP’s demand to impose a cap on the number of PR seats only for the April general elections. Instead, they urged the DP to adopt the best loser system. 

“We will accept the plan to impose a cap on the number of PR seats that will be allotted under the mixed-member proportional (MMP) representation. However, the rule will be applied only for the 21st general elections,” said Sohn Hak-kyu, chief of the minor opposition Bareunmirae Party. “We will introduce the best loser system in order to alleviate the regionalism. We will continue to push for strict operation of the MMP representation system,” he added. 

However, the final negotiations broke down as the DP opposed the best loser system agreed by the three minor parties. It was known that there was huge negative publicity surrounding the best loser system at the general meeting of the assembly.  

#Democratic Party #best loser system #cap #Four plus one consultative body 
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