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South Korea president urges election law reform

[JURIST] South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun [BBC profile] criticized South Korea's election laws Sunday, saying that the country's political system with a single five-year presidential term was "underdeveloped" and should be reformed. Roh also criticized the country's political neutrality laws and rejected last Thursday's ruling by the National Election Commission [official website, in Korean] that Roh violated the neutrality laws [AFP report] by repeating criticism of the opposition Grand National Party (GNP) [official website, in Korea]. Roh was impeached in March 2004 by the National Assembly of South Korea for violating election neutrality laws and the Commission found last week that he violated the same law for openly criticizing the GNP and its presidential hopefuls. South Korea's next presidential election is slated for December 19, 2007.

In May 2004, the Constitutional Court of South Korea [official website, in Korean] overturned the National Assembly's impeachment and reinstated Roh [JURIST report] despite finding Roh to have violated the election laws. The high court found that the violation was insufficient to warrant impeachment. Current South Korean election laws requires government officials to maintain neutrality before national elections. The Korea Times has more.

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