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Rival parties to hold ‘2+2 meeting’ on Wednesday

Posted December. 08, 2014 04:33,   


Chairman Kim Moo-sung and Floor Leader Lee Wan-koo of the ruling Saenuri Party and Acting Chairman Moon Hee-sang and Floor Leader Woo Yoon-geun of the main opposition New Politics Alliance for Democracy will hold a meeting as early as Wednesday after the end of the ordinary parliamentary session (Tuesday).

When agreeing on deliberation of next year’s budget bill last month, the floor leaders said, “We will start discussions on Sajabang (four-river restoration project, energy diplomacy, and corruptions in defense procurement), reform of the civil servant pension, and formation of a special committee on political reform soon after the end of the regular National Assembly session.” Attention is now focusing on whether the two sides will make "Big Deal" exchange between the public pension reform bill, which the ruling party is emphasizing, and the parliamentary inspection of Sajabang, which the opposition party put emphasis on, through the "2+2" meeting.

On the proposed parliamentary inspection of Sajabang, the Saenuri Party has implied a stance that it can accept investigation into energy diplomacy, which was implemented during the Lee Myung-bak administration. At an open meeting on Friday, Kim said, “On suspicions held by the public and tasks that the National Assembly should conduct as part of its various functions, we are ready to accept all demands from the opposition party without any areas of exception.” Watchers say that on energy diplomacy, over which various controversies have erupted, the ruling party has indicated the possibility to accept parliamentary inspection of government agencies.

Watchers also say that Saenuri will also flexibly respond on the issue of investigation into the four-river restoration project as well. A Saenuri source said on Sunday, “It is possible to deal with parliamentary inspection into the four-river project only when NPAD defines the specific deadline to approve the public pension reform bill.” He thus indicated that the party could accept investigation into the four-river project only when the public pension reform is deliberated and approved.

NPAD internally judges that the party is now in an advantageous position vis-à-vis Saenuri in the wake of growing suspicion over alleged intervention in state affairs by the Park Geun-hye administration’s hidden power elite with no official posts. The party stepped up its offensive against the ruling party by filing lawsuit with the prosecution against Jeong Yoon-hoi, and three key incumbent presidential aides dubbed "trio of power" on the charge of revealing classified information as civil servants on Sunday.

The rival parties also have different views on agendas to be addressed at the upcoming "2+2" meeting. The Saenuri Party said, “Issues other than those that were agreed upon by the floor leaders last months shall not be discussed,” but a source at NPAD said, “Suspicions over hidden power elite’s intervention in state affairs that are continuously spreading should not be excluded from the discussions.” However, some members of the party have warned by saying, “The party should not let suspicions over hidden power elite’s intervention in state affairs become a Black Hole that sucks up parliamentary investigation into Sajabang.” Analysts say that as the opposition party has not dealt a devastating blow to the ruling party based on its own information, the former has no concrete outcome at hands.