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Political parties clash over agenda for June provisional session

Political parties clash over agenda for June provisional session

Posted May. 27, 2013 07:33,   


Political parties decided to open the June provisional session of the National Assembly for 30 days from June 3 through July 2. Floor leaders from both parties, including Rep. Choi Gyeong-hwan of the ruling Saenuri Party and Rep. Jun Byung-hun of the main opposition Democratic Party, reached this agreement on Sunday at a meeting at the National Assembly.

Speeches by the heads of the negotiation bodies will be made from June 4 to 5. The plenary session for passing bills will be held for three days but can be extended if necessary.

Though the ruling and opposition parties are on the same page regarding passing bills about the people’s livelihood first, they are already at odds with various agenda items, such as bills on economic democratization, heralding a legislation battle.

Rep. Jun, the floor leader of the main opposition Democratic Party, made it clear that he will put first the livelihood of the disadvantaged by saying, “The National Assembly should wipe the tears from the eyes of the disadvantaged.” On the other hand, ruling party floor leader Choi stressed the importance of co-prosperity between the rich and the poor when he said, “Many people are worried about jobs. We need to address problems about which both the ruling and opposition parties concern, such as fostering the creative economy, creating jobs, protecting the economically and socially disadvantaged, and political reform.”

Regarding a class action system, Kim Gi-hyeon, chairman of the Policy Board of the ruling Saenuri Party, cautioned in a news conference at the party office in Yeouido, by saying, “It is an issue that can have a ripple effect not only on franchise agency-related problems but also on a variety of fields,” adding, “(The introduction of) a class action system should be determined after an in-depth study on the purpose and both positive and negative effects.”

Whether to include bonus in regular salary is another controversial issue, which President Part Geun-hye pledged during her official visit to the U.S. to “solve because it is a problem found across the Korean economy," as management and labor union are deeply divided over this matter

Concerning this issue, the ruling party said, “A final decision should be made after enough discussion between labor, management and government” considering the controversy and the aftermath of the matter. On the contrary, the main opposition party emphasized that it will make this agenda item a priority by helping more people recognize that this problem affects all the people, while trying to reduce shocks to the businesses.” Rep. Hong Yeong-pyo of the Democratic Party reportedly plans to submit a bill to revise the Labor Standards Act to include bonus into regular salary.

The introduction of a financial holding companies governance act will also likely be controversial in that the act is designed to expand the qualifications of major shareholders from banks to non-banks including insurance, stock and credit card companies. The Financial Services Commission briefed last Tuesday ruling party lawmakers of the parliamentary State Affairs Committee on a plan to advance the governing structure through the legislation of an act on governing structure of financial holding companies. But this attempt will may be adjusted in the June provisional session as a strong opposition from the financial sector is expected.

Legislations of local issues are highly likely to be controversial as local issues, including the Jinju Medical Center and the construction of power transmission towers in Miryang, have become socially important topics one after the other these days.