Go to contents

National Assembly Standoff Shows No Sign of Early End

Posted October. 31, 2004 23:02,   


The National Assembly standoff that was precipitated by Prime Minister Lee Hae-chan’s disparaging remarks on the opposition Grand National Party (GNP) doesn’t seem like it will end soon with the ruling and opposition parties showing no sign of budging.

Yesterday, the ruling Uri Party counterattacked, asking the GNP to apologize first for its reckless ideological attacks against the ruling party. However, the GNP showed its determined position that if the prime minister doesn’t beg pardon for his rough remarks, the GNP will not cooperate with an effort for the normalization of National Assembly operations, and will even take to the streets if necessary.

Uri Party Chairman Lee Bu-young said at a news conference held on the same day, “The GNP must stop its groundless ideological attacks against the ruling party and must make an apology for it, adding, “We will never forgive this incident and will take strong actions to prevent the GNP from doing this again.

Before this conference, Prime Minister Lee Hae-chan, Uri Party Chairman Lee Bu-young, and Uri Party floor leader Chun Jung-bae were reported to agree that they will ask the GNP to apologize first for its ideological attacks and make stern actions at a closed party senior member meeting which was held last Saturday.

Accordingly, the ruling Uri party is seriously considering that even though GNP members won’t attend an interpellation hearing on economic issues today, it will push ahead with the hearing in cooperation with the Democratic Labor Party and Millennium Democratic Party. However, those parties are now insisting that the hearing should be operated with the participation of the GNP

GNP Chairman Lee said, “The Uri Party’s ideological counterattack is not worthy to be considered,” and plans to hold an emergency party members meeting early today to make repeat denouncements of the prime minister’s remarks.

“The ruling party intentionally ignores criticisms that the policies advocated by the Roh government tends to be left-leaning according to world economic experts and the press. This is not a reasonable attitude,” said GNP spokesman Im Tae-hee.

Yeon-Wook Jung Min-Hyuk Park jyw11@donga.com mhpark@donga.com