|Ruling and opposition lawmakers on the National Assembly’s special committee on political reform struck an agreement yesterday to give suffrage to all Koreans living overseas, starting in the 2012 legislative elections.|
A legislative subcommittee met yesterday to revise the election law. The plan will give the right to vote to 3 million Koreans living overseas who are over 19 years old, including 1.47 million who are registered residents of foreign countries.
The special committee will meet again next Thursday to endorse the revision bill and vote on it at the full voting session on Feb. 2.
While they can cast ballots to elect a Korean president and proportional representatives of the National Assembly, they will not be able to vote in local elections.
Eligible Korean residents in other countries will have to register to vote before the April 2012 legislative elections. The registration period will start 150 days prior to the election and end 60 days before it. They will cast ballots at nearby Korean missions or alternate locations such as Korean community centers or schools.
Ballots sent by mail or from deep-sea fishing vessels, which can be at sea for months at a time, will not be accepted.