South Korean President Park Geun-hye has called for changes to the country's constitution by mainly scrapping the single-term limit on the presidency, before her term ends. She said the current system undermines continuity of policy or give scope to see results by the serving president.
This is said to be the first time Park has proposed a provision for multiple terms for presidents. She had previously opposed any discussions on the issue, according to Yonhap news agency. She wanted the government to focus on handling more important issues including economic and security, and North Korea's persistent nuclear and missile threats.
She has requested the South Korean parliament to form a special committee to discuss revising the constitution.
"Through the single-term presidency, it is difficult to maintain policy continuance, see results of policy and engage in unified foreign policy," Reuters quoted Park as saying.
Her proposal coincides with an opinion poll that gave her an all-time low approval rating. Park is the first woman president of the South and will serve till February 2018.
The country's constitution was last amended in 1987 that ended South Korea's military dictatorship following a pro-democracy movement. The revision provided for allowing voters to directly choose their president, and limited the presidency to a single five-year term.
Park said it is the "right time" to push for rewriting the constitution as "it has now become clothes that no longer fit our body".
The support of two-thirds of the parliamentarians in the single-chamber assembly is required to bring any changes to the constitution. A national referendum will have to approve the changes after that.
Park added that change in government every five years has made it difficult to put pressure on the North for defying UN Security Council resolutions.
A poll released in June found that 70% of South Koreans wanted the constitution to be revised, and 40% said they preferred allowing two four-year terms for the presidency.
Other politicians also favour a two-term presidency citing that it would allow for more stable implementation of long-term policies.
In recent years, the country's lawmakers have debated an alternative to the current system, favouring a Japanese-style cabinet system or a dual power structure where the prime minister would also have equal powers and look after economic and domestic issues, while the president oversees foreign affairs.