Go to contents

Free Vote for Electing Vice-Speaker

Posted June. 25, 2002 22:47,   


Despite the decision to elect the National Assembly Speaker by free vote on June 25, a fierce fight between Grand National Party and Millennium Democratic Party over the appointments of Vice-speaker and chairman of the standing committee for the 16th National Assembly elections continued into today as well.

GNP strongly rejects MDP’s assertion that “the party to which to-be-elected National Assembly Speaker belongs should not propose candidates for Vice-speaker and that the right for advancing two Vice-speaker candidates should be given to MDP and United Liberal Democrats”.

The floor leader Lee Kyu-taek pressured MDP to stop fooling around with unconstitutional statements saying that otherwise he would demand that Vice-speaker and chairman of the standing committee were elected by free vote as well. Assemblyman Lee Bu-yeong added that it is ludicrous that a party with the biggest number of members is denied the right to govern the National Assembly.

GNP, however, announced its unwillingness to give in the position of the chairman of Supervising Committee or chairman of Budget Committee if it secures one position of Vice-speaker along with the position of National Assembly Speaker. GNP, nonetheless, agreed with MDP’s demand for the number of chairmen of the standing committee (GNP:MDP:ULD〓9:8:2).

Meanwhile, MDP refutes GNP’s statement saying a party to which to-be-elected National Assembly Speaker does not belong should be given a priority in proposing candidates for Vice-speaker in order to strike a balance in power with the biggest party.

“The demand of GNP to elect both national Assembly Speaker and Vice-speaker by free vote is its hidden card for securing leverage in negotiations”, said an administration official, adding that GNP will benefit as well from negotiating on the election of Vice-speaker.

MDP, however, claims the chairmen of Supervising and Budget Committees should be MDP members because President Kim Dae-jung is actually the one who is still leading the party despite his resignation from it.

MDP plans to make a compromise on the free-vote election of the Speaker and allotment of Vice-speaker and chairman of the standing committee, and expects to succeed in persuading GNP during negations slated for June 27 as the latter currently lacks the majority of parliamentary seats that decreased to 131 after Assemblyman Jeong In-bong lost his position in the National Assembly.

Sung-Won Park Yong-Gwan Jung swpark@donga.com yongari@donga.com