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Parliament shows discord on timing of inspection

Posted August. 23, 2014 01:14,   


The floor leader’s office of the main opposition New Politics Alliance for Democracy conducted a telephone survey of its lawmakers on Thursday and Friday on conduct of two-round parliamentary inspection of government agencies. The survey asked whether the National Assembly should conduct the first round of parliamentary inspection of government agencies from Tuesday to Sunday next week of the two rounds, which divide the agencies into two categories as scheduled, or postpone it. Based on the results of the survey, the NPAD will hold a general meeting of its lawmakers Monday afternoon to make a final decision. In the telephone survey, those who demanded postponement reportedly outnumbered the other group in the party.

On top of August’s extra session of the National Assembly that began on Friday falling into a "vegetative state," whether to conduct parliament inspection that is to take place in two rounds beginning this year has also become uncertain as well. The ruling and opposition parties decided that the assembly starts the first round of parliamentary inspection on Tuesday, before conducting the second round during the ordinary parliamentary session that is set to begin on September 1.

Kim Jae-won, chief vice floor leader of the ruling Saenuri Party, said, “The parliamentary inspection set on Tuesday will go ahead as scheduled for now. Different permanent committees of the parliament decided on adoption of witnesses and testifiers, and it is nonsense if we now decide not to hold it,” as he insisted on the original schedule. Some NPAD lawmakers also said, “It is embarrassing if our party changes the inspection date that we had agreed.”

The National Assembly has also yet to find a clue to solving the impasse over the deliberation of the Special Sewol Act. The NPAD has upped offensives day after day by urging President Park Geun-hye and the Saenuri Party to take the lead in resolving the standoff. Rep. Park Jie-won who served as floor leader of the opposition party posted on Friday a Twitter message reading, “NPAD has failed to win consent from families of Sewol disaster victims, and Saenuri is denying families’ demand. Now the president should step in and keep her promise.” Rep. Chung Sey-kyun also said, “(Kim Young-ho, a victim’s father) has continued hunger strike for 40 days and appealed to the presidential office, urging the discovery of the truth, but the president has turned deaf ears,” in criticizing Park.

Saenuri says, “We have done everything we can.” The party`s Floor Leader Lee Wan-koo told reporters at a workshop of party lawmakers in Cheonan, South Chungcheong Province, “NPAD should either persuade bereaved families or make bold decision and thus approve the ‘agreement reached through renegotiation.’ We have no room to make further concession.”

NPAD has set an alternative plan, in which it will seek to pressure the government and Saenuri through arbitration of senior national leaders from civic groups, the religious community and academia representing both the conservative and progressive factions, and thus devise a new bill that accommodates bereaved families’ demand.