Posted December. 04, 2008 15:39,
The main opposition Democratic Party yesterday said it will boycott all parliamentary committee sessions in protest of the ruling Grand National Partys decision to unilaterally review the budget bill.
The boycott is likely to delay the passing of bills on helping the economy, including the 2009 budget, and cripple the operation of the National Assembly.
When the ruling party and the minor conservative Liberty Forward Party pushed ahead with a budget fine-tuning session in the absence of the Democratic Party yesterday, the main opposition party convened an emergency meeting in which it decided to boycott all parliamentary standing committee sessions until the review is suspended.
Democratic Party floor leader Cho Jeong-sik said, Our party demanded that the budget plan must reflect the lowered growth outlook and include measures to withdraw tax cuts for high-income earners, compensate for the reduction in provincial budgets, and protect the working poor. The government, however, gave no response and the ruling party pushed ahead with the budget review unilaterally.
The ruling party criticized the opposition party for trying to paralyze parliament, and announced that its schedule will proceed as planned. The ruling party reaffirmed its plan at a meeting of floor leaders at the National Assembly immediately after the Democratic Partys announcement of its boycott.
Grand National Party floor leader Hong Joon-pyo said, We cannot give up when the Democratic Party is giving up. We cannot accept its boycott at a time when we barely have time to complete the budget review until years end, even if we work on holidays.