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220th extraordinary Assembly session to open Monday

Posted April. 01, 2001 18:25,   


The 220th extraordinary National Assembly session will open Monday.

Rep. Lee Hoi-Chang, president of the opposition Grand National Party (GNP), is expected to propose that the controversial medical reforms be reviewed with the aim of minimizing public inconvenience and the growing financial burden.

The opposition leader`s overture on the policy of separating the roles of doctors and pharmacists and the merger of the medical insurance of wage earners and self-employed persons will stir up a major dispute among the parties concerned.

In his keynote speech in the plenary session, Lee will also make clear his party`s opposition to the idea of solving the problem of ever-snowballing medicare deficits by introducing new purpose taxes or using subsidies from the state coffers, which may boost the national debt, GNP sources said Sunday.

Rep. Rhee In-Je, Supreme Council member of the ruling Millennium Democratic Party (MDP), is expected to stress in his keynote speech that the ruling camp will conclude various reform policies and harvest tangible results from its initiatives, his aides said.

The ruling camp is determined to have pending bills pass through the special Assembly session on the basis of the policy coalition among the MDP, United Liberal Democrats and Democratic People`s Party. The bills include the National Human Rights Committee Law, Anti-Corruption Law, Anti-Money Laundering Law and an amendment to the Pharmaceutical Affairs Law.

However, the GNP is warning of a possible deadlock in parliamentary operations in the event that the three-party coalition tries to railroad the bills. The opposition decided to demand parliamentary investigations into the tax probe into media firms and health insurance finances.

According to the major operational timetable of the extraordinary session, the opening ceremony will be held on Monday, representatives of the parties will deliver keynote speeches on Apr. 3-6, and lawmakers will conduct an interpellation of the administration on Apr. 9-12. The standing committees will meet starting Apr. 13 and the plenary session will be convened to act on bills.

Moon Chul fullmoon@donga.com