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Ruling Party Could Start Parliament Without Opposition

Posted August. 08, 2008 06:26,   


The ruling Grand National Party yesterday intensified pressure on the main opposition Democratic Party to form parliamentary committees by the end of the month.

Ruling party chief Park Hee-tae denounced the opposition in a GNP Supreme Council meeting at the National Assembly, saying, “The DP should behave better. The main opposition party is like a busybody: it is poking its nose into everything.”

“The DP said the appointment of the (three new) ministers is a declaration of war on itself though the party is mainly responsible for missing the deadline for confirmation hearings. If anything, it should have been a declaration of war against the DP’s paralyzed conscience.”

Citing opinion poll results, GNP floor leader Hong Joon-pyo suggested starting the National Assembly with the minor conservative Liberty Forward Party and the minor Creative Korea Party if the DP continues to boycott parliament.

A survey conducted by the GNP-affiliated Yeouido Institute said 43.5 percent favored parliamentary formation without the DP, while 38 percent disagreed. “The gap will widen as time goes by,” Hong said.

“The most urgent thing we should deal with is to tackle pending issues introduced last month,” he said. “We can no longer delay such measures to recover the sagging economy.”

The ruling party has a series of meetings scheduled, including one with a special committee for revision of parliamentary law Monday, election of the chairmen of parliamentary standing committees Tuesday, and starting operations of standing committees Wednesday.

The DP rejected a ruling party offer to convene a meeting for the three negotiation groups today, instead demanding an apology from the presidential office.

Some in the ruling party said that if the DP keeps refusing to compromise, the GNP should push form parliamentary standing committees Monday as planned. Others, however, said that since National Assembly Speaker Kim Hyong-o set Aug. 15 as the deadline, the ruling party should wait until then.”

As the speaker clarified his intent to utilize his privilege under parliamentary law if necessary, many political analysts predict parliamentary normalization will pick up speed Monday.

A senior GNP official said, “To convene the regular parliamentary sessions in September, parliamentary committee formation should be complete by at least the end of August.”