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South Korea Ruling Party Holds Out an Offer to Opposition

December 27, 1986|From Reuters

SEOUL, South Korea — The government will permit greater democracy if the political opposition eases its vehement struggle against the regime of President Chun Doo Hwan over constitutional reform, a ruling party leader said Friday.

Democratic Justice Party chairman Roh Tae Woo told a news conference that his party would study granting more liberties, including freedom of the press, releasing jailed dissidents and provincial automony, on condition the opposition accepts a parliamentary government under a new national charter.

Analysts said they regarded Roh's remarks as a significant gesture toward resolving a dangerous political crisis over democracy in the country.

The dissident-backed opposition New Korea Democratic Party describes the Democratic Justice Party's draft constitution calling for a Cabinet responsibility system, to be run by a strong prime minister, as a "scheme to prolong military dictatorship."

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