Go to contents

Ruling and Opposition Parties Take Head-on Collision Course

Ruling and Opposition Parties Take Head-on Collision Course

Posted September. 04, 2003 11:22,   


The National Assembly Wednesday passed a dismissal bill initiated by the opposition Grand National Party against Government Administration and Home Affairs Minister Kim Doo-kwan.

A total of 160 lawmakers, while lawmakers of the ruling Milleninum Democratc Party boycotting it, attended the Wednesday`s floor vote. The final tally for the dismissal motion was 150 in favor, seven against, two abstentions and one declared void.

All members of the MDP, which claims 101 of the 272 incumbent seats, and other 7 lawmakers from opposition parties boycotted the vote.

Soon after the assembly vote, Cheong Wa Dae officials suggested the possibility that President Roh might reject the bill. Meanwhile, the opposition GNP has criticized President`s possible veto by saying that the president`s refusal is tantamount to a denial of parliamentary democracy. Against this backdrop, political confrontation between ruling and opposition parties is expected to intensify.

"I will continue in my job until I decide which course of action to take after meeting with President Roh and Prime Minister Koh Gun,” he said in a press conference, hinting that he might voluntarily step down from his post.

The MDP issued a statement, which bears signatures of all its members, criticizing the opposition party for wielding its majority power on the bill, right after the floor vote on that day.

“The president should take today`s vote seriously and humbly accept the public`s punishment against the Roh government. If he doesn`t, we will punish him without fail mobilizing any conceivable force,” said GNP spokesman Park Jin.

Meanwhile, GNP chairman Choi Byung-yul decided to participate an inter-party meeting to be held at Cheong Wa Dae on September 4 as planned.

It is the first time for the National Assembly to pass a bill calling for dismissal of a cabinet member since the inauguration of the Roh government. The passage of the no-confidence motion against the home affairs minister was the fifth of its kind in Korea`s history, following those against agriculture minister Leem Chul-ho(1995), education minister Kwon O-byung(1969), home affairs minister Oh Chi-sung(1971), and unification minister Leem Dong-won(2001).

Yeon-Wook Jung jyw11@donga.com