Go to contents

National Assembly Elected New Speaker

Posted July. 08, 2002 22:31,   


The National Assembly held a plenary session on the 8th and elected Rep. Park Kwan-Yong of the Grand National Party (GNP) as new speaker. Rep. Kim Tae-Shik of the Millennium Democratic Party (MDP) and Rep. Cho Bu-Yeong of the United Liberal Democrats (ULD) took up the posts of vice speakers.

By electing key posts, the National Assembly has put back on track its operation, which has been in the doldrums for 39 days.

But the GNP and the MDP ignored the National Assembly law stipulating that key posts of the National Assembly should be elected by free vote. The rival parties designated candidates in advance and share the key posts, triggering criticism over the deep-rooted practice of sharing posts.

In the floor vote, Park obtained 136 of the total of 258 votes cast compared with Rep. Kim Young-Bae`s 111 votes and Rep. Cho Soon-Hyung`s six votes. Rep. Kim Jong-ho of the ULD and Kim Chung-jo of the MDP garnered one vote respectively.

In the subsequent vote for vice speakers, Rep Kim Tae-Shik of the MDP and Cho Bu-Young of the ULD were elected with 197 votes and 165 votes respectively.

"Today, we made a historic achievement in that lawmakers elected their legislative headed by themselves, unlike in the past when the president handpicked the parliamentary speaker. I will dedicate myself to enhancing the hard-won independence and autonomy of the legislature," Park said in his victory speech.

Park resigned his membership of the GNP in accordance with the National Assembly law.

The National Assembly accepted the resignation tendered by Rep. Kim Min-Seok, who ran for the June 13 local elections.

The nation`s legislature is expected to hold the plenary session on the 10th and elect 19 standing and special committee chairmen.

In last-minute negotiations just before the plenary session, floor leaders from the GNP and the MDP worked out an agreement to elect the parliamentary speaker first and distribute the two posts of vice speakers to the other parties, including the ULD.

They also agreed that the GNP will chair nine committees, the MDP eight and the ULD the remaining two. The GNP and the MDP are expected to take up the chairmanship of the Legislation and Judiciary Committee and House Steering Committee, respectively.

Young-Chan Yoon Jong-Koo Yoon yyc11@donga.com jkmas@donga.com