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Party Leaders Reject Proposal to Normalize Parliament

Posted January. 03, 2009 06:17,   


The ruling Grand National Party and main opposition Democratic Party Friday virtually rejected a draft agreement that floor leaders of both sides reached in an effort to normalize parliament.

This is signaling a breakdown in negotiations between the two camps and the continued suspension of parliament.

The final round of negotiations scheduled Friday afternoon among the floor leaders of three parties ended after 20 minutes due to the change of floor leader by the Renewal Party of Korea.

Denouncing the draft agreement in a meeting, members of the ruling party’s supreme council decided to reject the proposal formulated by the floor leaders of the three parties.

“Supreme council members were outraged,” said ruling party floor leader Hong Joon-pyo to the media after the meeting. “All council members including party leader Park Hee-tae opposed the proposed agreement.”

Even if negotiations are settled by floor leaders, the draft agreement will unlikely be endorsed at the general meeting of lawmakers because the majority of ruling party lawmakers are against it and demand reviewing contentious bills.

The Democratic Party, which also held both a supreme council meeting and a general meeting of its lawmakers the same day, also rejected the provisional agreement.

“In a way, it appeared as if the media-related bills is the only problem because we had to negotiate with the ruling party’s proposal,” Democratic Party leader Chung Sye-kyun said sarcastically.

The party, however, plans to watch its rival’s moves without breaking the framework of the negotiations since several lawmakers are urging concessions for negotiations.

At a meeting Wednesday, the floor leaders of the three parties reached a draft agreement on seven issues, including the handling of the free trade agreement with the United States in two months at the extraordinary session of the National Assembly in February and the submission of media reform bills the same month.