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National Assembly normalization falls through on opposition from Liberty Korea Party Updated: 2019-06-25 07:01:32 KST

The sigh of relief following news that the National Assembly had been normalized was short-lived.
Less than two hours after the floor leaders of the three main political parties said that they had reached an agreement to normalize parliament, the main opposition Liberty Korea Party announced the deal null and void, after its lawmakers refused to endorse it.
The conservative lawmakers claimed the deal was not specific enough and that they have nothing to gain, despite their fighting.

"There were calls from lawmakers in our party that the agreement needs to be more transparent. Therefore, it is difficult for our party to accept the normalization deal."

That's likely in reference to a clause saying that parties will discuss the proposals of each party regarding the key reform bills put on fast-track in late April and handle them in a spirit of agreement.
Those bills include one on electoral reform and another to establish an independent body to probe high level government officials.
The fast-track move triggered the deadlock in the first place after the ruling Democratic Party and minor opposition bloc pushed ahead with it despite strong resistance from the main opposition.
The Liberty Korea Party has been calling for the move to be nullified all together.
With that, they skipped a plenary session where the prime minister gave a speech on the government's multi-billion dollar extra budget bill.
From now on, the party says they will selectively take part in legislative affairs, that impact people's lives and right to know, such as confirmation hearings, as well as in committees that will deal with urgent pending issues.

But with the impasse likely to persist, it casts a dark cloud over the June parliamentary session.
With the National Assembly out of business for over two months, it's left the government's extra budget proposal as well as other pending bills related to economic revitalization or people's livelihoods on hold.
While the ruling and minor opposition parties are seeking to push ahead with deliberations of the extra budget bill, it's expected to be tough especially in parliamentary committees headed by the main opposition.

The ruling party criticized the main opposition, saying they have gone against the wish of the public to normalize parliament, while the minor opposition Bareun Mirae Party, which was also part of the agreement, expressed regret saying that the prolonged standstill will only burden the people.
With everything back to square one, it appears the parties will have to return to their respective drawing boards, in hopes of finding another breakthrough that satisfies all parties.
Kim Min-ji, Arirang News.
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