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Rival parties agree on formation of National Assembly Updated: 2018-07-11 10:02:15 KST


Putting an end to a 41-day vacuum, rival parties have agreed on which party will take leadership posts in the National Assembly and on its standing committees.
The consensus was reached Tuesday after hours of grueling talks between the floor leaders of the country's four negotiating blocs.

"We have agreed on the following in regards to the formation of the National Assembly for the second half of the 20th National Assembly. The ruling Democratic Party will pick the speaker, while the main opposition Liberty Korea Party and the minor opposition Bareun Mirae Party will each select a vice speaker."

As for parliament's 18 standing committees -- the ruling party will chair eight of them, the main opposition seven, the minor opposition Bareun Mirae Party two and the joint bloc composed of the Party for Democracy and Peace and the Justice Party will lead one.
As is customary -- the ruling party will take the helm of the House Steering Committee -- which oversees overall parliamentary affairs and the presidential office, while the main opposition chairs the legislation and judiciary committee -- which reviews bills before they're referred to the plenary session for a full floor vote.
The rival parties also agreed to set up a task force for further discussions to ensure that the legislative committee doesn't have excessive influence over lawmaking -- which was a main point of contention during the negotiations.

A settlement was long overdue, given that the key parliamentary posts for the first half of the 20th National Assembly had expired in late May.
The agreed-upon arrangement will be put to a vote during an extraordinary session that will kick off for a two-week run starting Friday -- during which confirmation hearings will be held for the nominee for commissioner general of the National Police Agency, and three candidates for the Supreme Court.

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"Although the National Assembly will be back on track there are concerns that the July session could be spent getting adjusted, with key positions newly filled. The question now is how quickly the rival parties will be able to get their hands to on the real work, especially given the stack of pending bills that piled up during the vacuum period. Kim Min-ji, Arirang News."
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