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MDP railroads quorum legislation

Posted July. 24, 2000 19:54,   


The ruling Millennium Democratic Party (MDP) and its coalition partner, the United Liberal Democrats (ULD) unceremoniously railroaded a revision to the National Assembly Law July 24 amid physical clashes between lawmakers at the Assembly Steering Committee.

To protest the passage of the bill, the GNP lawmakers staged a sit-in at the Assembly chamber, leading to a heated inter-party showdown.

It is the first time that rival party lawmakers have been embroiled in a physical skirmish since the inauguration of the current 16th Assembly sitting.

While the GNP members were besieging committee chairman Chung Kyun-Hwan to prevent him from presiding over the committee session, Rep. Chun Chung-Bae, senior deputy committee chairman, unilaterally submitted the bill and rammed it through the committee in just 30 minutes.

Immediately after the bill was passed, the GNP convened an emergency caucus of its lawmakers and declared that it was null and void, as Rep. Chun submitted it but failed to put it to a vote. They then launched an overnight strike in the Assembly`s main chamber.

The opposition party demanded that President Kim Dae-Jung apologize to the people for the mishap. They also decided to file a complaint with the Assembly Ethics Committee against committee chairman Chung and deputy chairman Chun, and called for their expulsion from parliament. GNP spokesman

Kwon Chul-Hyeun said that if his party`s demands were not met by the MDP, the GNP would launch a campaign for the withdrawal of the Kim government.

The GNP also declared a total boycott on cooperation with the ruling camp, and occupied the Budget-Settlement Committee conference room where the supplementary spending bill was being deliberated in an attempt to disrupt the session.