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(LEAD) Moon pledges to bolster local autonomy

All News 11:50 June 14, 2017

(ATTN: CHANGES headline, lead, photo; UPDATES throughout with new info)

SEOUL, June 14 (Yonhap) -- President Moon Jae-in said Wednesday that he will seek to craft a constitutional ground to institute an apparatus for regular dialogue with provincial administrative chiefs, in a move to strengthen local autonomy and bolster cooperation with regional governments.

During a meeting with 17 provincial and metropolitan leaders, he said he would ensure a constitutional amendment likely next year that includes a clause aimed at enhancing the powers of local administrative units. The government is pushing for a referendum on a constitutional revision in tandem with the local elections slated for June 2018.

"When we hold (the referendum on) the revision next year, (we) will seek to craft a constitutional clause to strengthen decentralization and grounds to establish the 2nd Cabinet meeting," Moon said.

President Moon Jae-in speaks during a meeting with the leaders of 17 major provincial governments at the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae in Seoul on June 14, 2017. (Yonhap)

During his presidential campaign, Moon pledged to create a "second Cabinet meeting" that involves the heads of major provincial governments, in a bid to foster closer cooperation with them. The installation of the dialogue apparatus requires a law revision, officials said.

Before the revision, Moon said he would hold a meeting with the provincial leaders more often or on a regular basis.

Participants in Wednesday's meeting included Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon, Deputy Prime Minister Kim Dong-yeon, Interior Minister Hong Yun-sik and presidential chief of staff Im Jong-seok.


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