▲ Dignitaries and guests pose in front of the Provincial Assembly in Jeju City, May 22. Photo by Angela Kim
Celebrating the 60th anniversary of Jeju’s Provincial Assembly, the government is preparing to move forward.
On May 22, 1952, 20 elected assemblymen from two districts opened the first Provincial Assembly on the island. (Note: During the third assembly term, from May 16, 1961, due to the 5.16 coup d’état, all local autonomous bodies were banned until 1991.) Currently, the assembly is in its 9th term and has 36 provincial assemblymen from 29 districts.
▲ Assembly Chairman Oh Chung Jin. Photo by Angela Kim
Today some 100 guests gathered at the Provincial Assembly to celebrate its 60th anniversary, including Jeju Special Self-Governing Province Governor Woo Keun Min, JSSGP Office of Education Superintendent Yang Seong Un, Assembly Chairman Oh Chung Jin, and former assembly members.
“Local autonomy is power of Jeju,” Chairman Oh emphasized during a speech. He also pointed out that the Korean political system leans toward central governments, and stressed the need for decentralization.
“Thanks to the Provincial Assembly, the value, competitiveness, and viability of Jeju has greatly increased,” Governor Woo said in his congratulatory speech.
Both Oh and Woo mentioned the KORUS FTA, the Korea-China FTA and the Gangjeong naval base as problematic issues in need of solutions.
In addition to the 60th anniversary celebration, a legislative policy seminar will be held to discuss lessons learned from the past and direction for the future of the province.
A book documenting the history of the assembly in print and photography will be available soon. To preserve its photo archive, film images will be converted into digital format and saved in a digital database.
ⓒ Jeju Weekly 2009 (http://www.jejuweekly.com)
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