Posted December. 29, 2005 03:01,
The main opposition Grand National Party (GNP) continued to boycott all National Assembly proceedings and to stage rallies outside the National Assembly in protest of the revised private school law yesterday.
As GNP lawmakers gathered at a general party meeting at the National Assembly yesterday, the party held another street protest in Daejeon.
During the two-hour meeting, some representatives insisted that the outdoor rallies should be held side by side with protests inside the National Assembly. But GNP Chairwoman Park Geun-hye disagreed, saying, If we go back to parliament now, we will be caving in to the ruling Uri Party and it will signal our acceptance of the way the ruling party railroaded the revised private school bill through parliament.
If we do not remain adamant in asserting our opinion, we may find it difficult to stage protests against any possible ruling partys railroading of bills, including the National Security Law, said Park. This is not an end but rather, the beginning.
Out of 17 lawmakers who voiced their opinions during the meeting, six lawmakers, including Jeon Jae-hee and Park Hyeong-joon, insisted that the GNP attend the National Assembly in a bid to deal with pending issues pertaining to the publics livelihood, including the budget bill for next year, a motion to extend the mandate of the Korean contingent in Iraq and countermeasures against the damages caused by heavy snowfalls in the Jeolla Province.
Most representatives, however, refused to attend the parliament, saying, We cannot stand for the ruling Uri Partys railroading of the bill. Floor leader Kang Jae-sup was determined to hold continuous rallies, saying, I want lawmakers to agree on holding rallies in the streets at the sacrifice of the partys floor strategy.
The GNP has also decided to push ahead with publicizing the flaws of the revised private school bill through staging various events as a strategy for the second round of its protests: a rally in the metropolitan area on January 10 next year, meetings aimed at reporting legislative issues and press coverage.
Meanwhile, the ruling Uri Party was scheduled to hold a plenary session in cooperation with the Millennium Democratic Party and the Democratic Labor Party on the same day, but the plan was cancelled because the two minor opposition parties did not cooperate.
The ruling Uri Party, however, plans to hold a plenary session to address the pending bills, including the budget bill for 2006, by any means through cooperation from the two parties until December 30.
The Legislative and Judiciary Committee of the National Assembly passed the comprehensive property tax revision, a follow-up bill of the 8/31 real estate measures, during its general meeting only attended by Uri Party lawmakers, and it handed over the bill to a plenary session.