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Political Scene Quickly Cools Down

Posted December. 09, 2005 07:38,   


With the Uri Party pushing forward follow-up legislation to the August 31 real estate measures at the sub-committee of tax legislation examination of the National Assembly’s Finance and Economy Committee yesterday night, the aftermath is headed toward the crippling of the National Assembly session.

On December 8, one day before the closure of the regular National Assembly session, the Grand National Party (GNP) decided to reject all National Assembly schedules such as the standing committee and the general session, while only attending the special committee on budget and accounts.

In contrast, the Uri Party plans to hold a National Assembly’s Finance and Economy Committee meeting on December 9, and after submitting subsequent measures for real estate measures, including an amendment to the comprehensive real estate taxation bill, it will pass it in the general session. In addition, with the approval of Millennium Democratic Party, the Democratic Labor Party, and National Assembly Speaker Kim Won-ki, the ruling party will also pass the private school bill mediation proposal in the general session.

However, the GNP seems likely to be prepared to stop this by force, and therefore, there is the possibility of a physical clash between the ruling and opposition parties on the last day of the National Assembly session

At the December 8 supreme committee meeting, GNP Chairperson Park Geun-hye strongly criticized the passing of new real estate laws by saying, “Is there the need of an opposition party existing, if they tell us to negotiate and then pass legislation with their numbers, as they just did?”

On the issue of passing the real estate and private school bill amendment, GNP Floor Leader Kang Jae-sup said, “We will use force and chemicals to stop it.”

In response, Uri Party chairman and floor leader Chung Sye-kyun said at senior party-government officials meeting “It is only natural to put it to a vote according to National Assembly law at the committee, and if we did not do it, it would constitute negligence of our duty.”

On the same day, with GNP lawmakers absent, the National Assembly held its general session two hours later than scheduled and passed laws, including the Special Law to Revert the Properties of Pro-Japanese and Anti-National Individuals.

It is also reported that at the senior party-government officials meeting, Prime Minister Lee Hae-chan responded to the GNP’s request of exempting special consumption taxes on LPG taxi by saying, “Even if the ruling party accepts the proposal because of votes, the government will veto it.”

Yong-Gwan Jung yongari@donga.com