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GNP Rallies Against School Law Revision

Posted December. 14, 2005 06:15,   


The main opposition Grand National Party (GNP) held a rally against the ruling Uri Party’s railroading of the revision on the Private School Law in Myeong-dong, Jung-gu, Seoul, yesterday. A total of about 300 GNP officials, including Chairwoman Park Geun-hye and its 40 representatives, attended the protest.

This is the first time the GNP has launched protests outside the National Assembly since the inauguration of the 17th National Assembly.

The GNP also submitted a no-confidence resolution against National Assembly Speaker Kim Won-ki to the National Assembly, citing that Kim violated the National Assembly Law because he brought up the revised bill on the Private School Law via exercising his authority without being informed of an interim report from the chairman of the related standing committee and ignoring an enunciation of the proposal.

During the rally, Park said, “With the ruling Uri Party ramming the bill through the National Assembly, Korea’s education, our children’s future, and the spirit of the Constitution were infringed upon,” adding, “Due to the passage of the bill, there is no measure to protect the Korean Teachers and Education Workers’ Union (KTEWU)’s attempt to indoctrinate our children with anti-APEC materials containing four-letter words.”

On the heels of the rally in Myeong-dong, the GNP held a protest against the bill at Seoul Station square, with a total of about 200 GNP officials, including its floor leader Kang Jae-sup and lawmakers, in attendance.

After it holds outside rallies in the Gangnam Express Bus Terminal and Yeongdeung-po Station on December 14 and 15, the GNP plans to hold a massive candlelight vigil with the Association of Korean Private School Foundation, conservative groups, and religious groups at the Seoul Plaza in front of Seoul City Hall on the afternoon of December 16.

In response, during a policy meeting attended by high-ranking officials yesterday, the ruling Uri Party Chairman Chung Sye-kyun urged the GNP to return to the National Assembly quickly, saying, “Let’s argue about who is right and who is wrong and receive judgment from the public through a TV debate, instead of holding rallies outside the National Assembly.”

Meanwhile, the National Assembly was scheduled to hold a sub-committee meeting of the Special Committee on Budget and Accounts and a sub-committee meeting of the Environment and Labor Committee in order to deliberate the budget bill for 2006 and the bill on non-regular workers, but it was disrupted due to the GNP’s boycott of the National Assembly’s extra session schedules.

Yong-Gwan Jung yongari@donga.com