D-day for ‘4+1’ consultation body’s electoral reform bill

Dec 27, 2019, 08:41 am

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The left image shows a notice posted on the National Assembly’s bulletin board showing that the 373rd National Assembly’s extra parliamentary session will be held on Dec. 26 at 2 pm. On the other hand, the right image shows the plenary session hall firmly closed due to the difference between the rival parties./ Source: Yonhap News

By AsiaToday reporter Lim Yoo-jin 

The National Assembly will hold a plenary session on Friday to put the contentious electoral reform bill to a vote. 

A marathon filibuster against the electoral reform bill proposed by the “four-plus-one” coalition – which includes the ruling Democratic Party (DP), the Bareunmirae Party, the Justice Party, the Party for Democracy and Peace and a splinter group - came to an end at midnight Wednesday as the extra parliamentary session concluded. As a new extra parliamentary session was convened Thursday at 2 pm, the bill can be put to vote at any time now. 

Since the four-plus-one alliance holds a majority of parliamentary seats, the electoral reform bill is expected to be passed despite fierce backlash from the main opposition Liberty Korea Party (LKP). 

The parliament is expected to decide on an agenda for the special parliamentary session before the vote on electoral reform bill on Friday. After the voting, it plans to push ahead with passing some of budget bills and other bills linked to people’s livelihoods that are not placed on the fast-track. 

Among the bills related to people’s livelihoods, those in which the LKP decided not to stage filibuster are likely to be dealt first. They include the Pohang earthquake special bill, military service bill, alternative service bill, criminal procedure bill, and communication confidentiality protection bill. 

After that, another fast-tracked bill on establishing an independent unit to investigate corruption by high-ranking public officials is expected to be submitted, which could re-spark the ‘filibuster confrontation’ between the rival parties. 

The bill is expected to be put on vote upon the start of a new session following the end of a filibuster. 

The ruling DP reiterated its strong will to push ahead with passing the electoral reform bill and prosecutorial reform legislation put on the fast-track as well as bills related to people’s livelihoods.

“It is the people’s call to adopt the mixed-member proportional system,” said DP floor leader Lee In-young. “An extra parliamentary session has begun today. Once a plenary session is convened, we will firmly push ahead with the electoral reform bill, prosecutorial reform bill, and bills related to people’s livelihoods.”

“Taking hostage of people’s lives, the LKP’s tricks to stop the passing of electoral and prosecutorial reform bills will face harsh public criticism,” said Park Chan-dae, the DP’s floor spokesman. 

However, the LKP continued its last minute war to block the passing of the electoral reform bill, revealing its plan for various legal struggles. 

The main opposition party filed for an injunction to suspend National Assembly Speaker Moon Hee-sang’s introduction of the electoral reform bill during Monday’s plenary session after rejecting its filibuster request. The party also filed a complaint against the speaker with the prosecution on charges of abuse of authority. The party said if the electoral reform bill is passed by parliament, it will file an appeal at the Constitutional Court and seek an injunction to suspend the bill from taking effect. 

#electoral reform bill #DP #LKP #filibuster 
Copyright by Asiatoday