“In the current status where people can hardly breath due to difficult economy, I believe the ruling and opposition parties will take bipartisan measures for policies requiring revision of laws,” President Yoon Suk-yeol said on Monday. His comments contained denouncement toward the failure of the National Assembly to take any actions for three whole weeks amid the increasingly pressured economy due to rising inflation rate, interest and exchange rates.
President Yoon was asked about the necessity of law revision to come up with additional measures to stabilizes people’s livelihood, and he answered that relevant bills need to be submitted. “The systems for the National Assembly to work properly have not been ready yet,” the president said. “If everything had been normalized, they would have submitted proposals to revise relevant laws where necessary.” It signals a call from the president to the legislative body to resume its mandated work and pass bills to assist with people’s livelihood in this time of difficulty.
Yet, even on the same day the ruling People Power Party (PPP) and main opposition Democratic Party (DP) continued their arguments for securing the lead of the Judiciary Committee, and electing the chairman for parliamentary legislation, respectively. “More than 20 days passed without any progress made from the National Assembly. It is being criticized for turning a blind eye to the suffering of our people,” PPP floor leader Kwon Seong-dong said. “If the DP violates the previous consensus to handover the chairmanship of judiciary committee to the PPP and vote on the speaker position on their own, they will be in a fast track to lose the nation’s support.”
The DP’s floor leader Park Hong-keun described Kwon’s proposal for marathon talks as ‘unfortunately too late,’ and responded by saying, “Identifying what type of compromises the ruling party’s leader can bring on the table should come first.” He also expressed that the DP may solely elect the chairmanship, saying, “If (the ruling party) continues to act irresponsibly by dragging on time, we will be open to take any actions as necessary.”
While the legislative body is not making any progress, the Misery Index in May, which combines consumer price increase and unemployment rate stood at the highest in 21 years. The government recently adjusted the consumer price increase rate to 4.7% and unemployment to 3.1% in their announcement of “Economic direction of the new administration.” If these numbers remain unchanged, the annual Misery Index will be 7.8, reaching to the highest level since 2008 (7.9).
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