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Opposition Blasts Pres. Lee for Nat`l Assembly Absence

Posted October. 26, 2010 08:47,   


A leading member of the main opposition Democratic Party criticized President Lee Myung-bak Monday for having Prime Minister Kim Hwang-sik read his speech on his behalf in parliament.

Chung Sye-kyun told a council meeting, “It`s no exaggeration to say next year`s budget is a budget for (the four-river project). The budget for the four rivers is a budget for the president, but why didn’t he come to the National Assembly and instead made the prime minister read his speech instead? The president should have come and given the speech. He has probably come to (the National Assembly) just once so far.”

An aide at the presidential office said, “The president believed he`d give a speech at parliament if he has time because he respects the National Assembly, a representative body of the people. But he also had a tight schedule, including a summit with the Gabonese president. This also gave the new prime minister the opportunity to give a speech.”

“Chung is just trying to find fault.”

President Lee held a meeting from 10:30 a.m. with Gabonese President Ali-Ben Bongo Ondimba, who is visiting Seoul from Sunday through Tuesday. Only two Korean presidents - Roh Tae-woo and Roh Moo-hyun - had given a speech in person to parliament just once before President Lee, who did so in his first year in office two years ago.