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Opposition Lawmakers Resign Over Media Reform Bills

Posted July. 25, 2009 08:05,   


Lawmakers of the main opposition Democratic Party Friday have decided to resign a day after asking the Constitutional Court to nullify media reform bills passed by the ruling Grand National Party.

The lawmakers made the decision in a meeting at the National Assembly, saying the passage of the bills through “illegal” procedures is invalid and that they will risk everything to fight for nullification.

They handed their resignations to party chairman Chung Sye-kyun, who did the same to National Assembly Speaker Kim Hyong-o.

The Democratic Party will also initiate a campaign to nullify the new media laws by participating in a street rally today at the square in front of Seoul Station.

Chung said he will lead struggles outside of the National Assembly, while party floor leader Lee Kang-rae, who withdrew his resignation intent, will fight in parliament.

Democratic Party lawmakers will maintain their parliamentary seats until Speaker Kim accepts their resignations, while protesting the passage of the media bills.

On an individual level, Democratic Party lawmaker and former president of Munhwa Broadcasting Company Choi Moon-soon tendered his resignation to the speaker, following fellow party lawmaker Chun Jung-bae.

Ruling party floor leader Ahn Sang-soo blasted the Democratic Party for hurting Korea’s national image and harming the people, accusing it of disregarding National Assembly law and dividing the country.

The National Assembly extraordinary session, which opened on June 26, has technically ended with no session scheduled for the last day Saturday.

The session passed just nine bills, including one on extending Korea’s troop deployment to Lebanon. Four other bills including those on media reform were railroaded through by the ruling party.

The handling of other highly disputed bills, including ones on temporary workers and loan sharks, has been postponed until the regular session in September.

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