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Parties Disagree Over Pace of Renovation

Posted April. 27, 2004 21:11,   


Because parties are competitively pushing livelihood, economy, and renovation laws, many new laws are expected to be passed by the 17th National Parliament on its opening day, June 5.

In particular, debates about the pace and inclination of such legislation have been raging within each party over sensitive issues such as national security and labor-related laws, despite anxieties that political and social complications might be stimulated.

On the evening of April 26 at the Open Uri Party’s elected assemblymen’s workshop, held at the Rainbow Green Yard Hotel in Yangyang County, Korea, a three-term veteran of the assembly asserted that “because progressive and liberal forces have won a majority in parliament, this is a golden chance for us to pass anti-democratic laws such as the national security law.”

Regarding this statement, almost every Uri assembly member present agreed that such a discussion be postponed because the party platform has not been firmly established, It was disclosed, however, that some of the most progressive assemblymen retorted by saying, “This early stage of our regime is the best time for rearranging bad laws.”

In addition, because the Democratic Labor Party, which has adopted the repeal of the national security law as one of its main principles, has taken into consideration factors such as the appropriate time for bill application and public publicity in order to submit its law revision proposal to congress, parliamentary conflicts are strongly expected.

On the other hand, the Open Uri Party on April 27 has made their attitude of opposition clear against the Democratic Labor Party’s policy of wealth taxation, saying, “It is unreasonable.”

On the other hand, as the Ministry of Legislation has disclosed that they will restart the legislation of the 22 economy-related laws out of 40 laws, which are pending in the 16th National Parliament and will be denunciated automatically at the moment of the 16th parliament’s dissolution, but among these laws, government, the parties, and non-governmental organizations are confronting each other over the legislations of the problematic laws.

In particular, concerning legislation on the organization and management of the governmental employee’s labor union, which guarantees basic labor rights for government employees, the Korea Confederation of Trade Unions has made a strong objection against the postponement of the insertion of a group activities rights clause into the law bill.

In addition, the terror prevention law, related human rights issues, and the right to command terror prevention activities, which is currently under control of the National Intelligence Service, are all issues that have both majority and opposition parties, and even the factions inside of the leading Open Uri Party, at odds with each other.

Sung-Won Park swpark@donga.com