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Opposition party legislators hold rally

Posted September. 29, 2000 11:59,   


With the floor leaders meeting between the ruling and opposition parties failing to agree on a bipartisan summit Thursday, the main opposition Grand National Party forced its way onstage with an anti-government rally in Daegu, while the ruling Millennium Democratic Party plans to deal with the administration's motion requesting the parliamentary approval of the extended deployment of Korea's U.N. peace-keeping contingent in East Timor.

However, in the face of the mounting public criticism of the protracted parliamentary deadlock, the rivaling parties are expected to try to find a breakthrough to the political impasse, following the GNP's Daegu rally. But the opposition party has yet to work out a strategy for additional extra-parliamentary struggle in the future.

In this connection, GNP president Lee Hoi-Chang said in a press conference at Daegu Park Hotel on Thursday that his party lawmakers would return to the National Assembly without fail after the Daegu rally, in order to address the people's livelihood problems and to watch over the administration.

Lee pointed out that the GNP had proposed a political summit with President Kim Dae-Jung following a painful resolution but that the president delayed his response and the MDP was pretending that it was going to pursue dialogue with the opposition party, contending that Kim is now waging a war against the people and the opposition party.

On Thursday, on the eve of what the opposition called the "pan-national mass rally against the Kim Dae-Jung dictatorial regime," GNP president Lee and many other party leaders came to Daegu and distributed publicity leaflets to the citizens in the markets and departments to drum up the campaign atmosphere.

On the other hand, MDP chairman Suh Young-Hoon, presiding over a meeting of the party supreme council Friday, called upon the opposition lawmakers to return to the National Assembly immediately and to discontinue their rallies outside the Assembly. The MDP chairman charged that the GNP was engaged in extra-parliamentary struggles, while turning its back on the people's desire for parliamentary normalization and their grave livelihood problems.

The ruling party decided to convene the Assembly plenary session Friday and deal with the motion for the maintenance of the peace-keeping force in East Timor in the absence of the GNP members, in collaboration with its coalition partner, the United Liberal Democrats. At the same time, the MDP plans to hold pertinent Assembly standing committees -- Health-Welfare, Finance-Economy and Budget-Settlement -- and deliberate the supplementary budget bill for the current year.