| The ruling Saenuri Party and the main opposition Democratic Party resumed their political wrangling Thursday for leadership in the political situation just after cooperating in the passing of a motion for the arrest of Rep. Lee Seok-ki of the minor opposition United Progressive Party accused of plotting to overthrow the government. The ruling party pressed the DP to end its street protest against the National Intelligence Service`s alleged intervention in last year`s presidential election, while the opposition party called for a reform of the spy agency first. The two major parties failed to get out of their political struggle, without reaching an agreement on parliamentary schedule after holding an opening ceremony for a regular National Assembly session last Monday.
Choi Kyoung-hwan, Saenuri`s floor leader, said during the party`s supreme council meeting at the National Assembly, that the Democratic Party should end the street protest and return to the parliament to deliberate on people`s issues. "The opposition party`s negotiating partner is the ruling party, not the president of the (presidential office) Cheong Wa Dae," he said. "I hope that the opposition party does not negate parliamentary democracy or fail to correspond to what the public wants." He put further pressure on the opposition party, noting that if the opposition party fails to return to normal parliamentary processes, the National Assembly law allows the house speaker to decide on the parliamentary schedule with his own authority.
The Democratic Party emphasized the need to get out of the political atmosphere of public security sparked by Lee`s case and reform the spy agency. The Democratic Party`s floor leader Jun Byung-hun said during a high-level party policy meeting that the Saenuri Party should end its political offensive against the opposition and promise to reform the National Intelligence Service to end the suspicion that it was trying to create the atmosphere of "neo-McCarthyism" to its own advantage. "The public suspects that the Saenuri Party`s offensive that goes beyond common sense is a plot to avoid reforming the spy agency," he claimed. "The Saenuri Party should get out of the temptation to take advantage of the public security case to create an insanity of labeling (the opposition) as North Korea followers."
Meanwhile, the Saenuri Party decided to submit a proposal this week at the earliest to the National Assembly`s ethics commit urging it to deprive Lee of his parliamentary seat for his rebellion charges.