With just 100 days to go before voters cast their ballots, the general elections in April remain mired in uncertainty due to the absence of local constituencies. Rival parties have failed to fully agree on redrawing the electoral constituency map for the elections on April 13. The current electoral map became invalid by the end of 2015. For the first time in history, candidates seeking parliamentary seats in the 20th National Assembly are jockeying for position ahead of elections without exactly knowing the constituencies. The rival parties are required to redraw electoral districts as the Constitutional Court ruled in October 2014 that the electoral map was unconstitutional, citing unequal representation.
The court said that the population differences between electoral districts should be reduced to two-to-one, noting the most populous electoral districts outweigh the least populous three seats to one.
National Assembly Speaker Chung Ui-hwa has urged the rival parties to reach a settlement and warned that he has no other choice but to ask a committee under the nation’s election watchdog to make the decision instead.
Chung said he plans to exercise his authority to send a new electoral constituency bill to the floor at a parliamentary plenary session on Friday and forcibly put it to a vote. Under the National Assembly Act, a National Assembly speaker can table a bill in a plenary session in the event of a natural disaster, state emergency or agreement between rival parties.