Ruling party takes all assembly committee chairman seats

Jun 30, 2020, 09:30 am

print page small font big font

facebook share

tweet share

Lawmakers of the ruling Democratic Party (DP) cast votes to elect chairs for parliamentary standing committee, despite the absence of the main opposition United Future Party (UFP), during a plenary session of the National Assembly on Monday./ Photographed by Lee Byung-hwa

AsiaToday reporter Lim Yoo-jin 

The ruling Democratic Party (DP) took all but one of parliament’s 18 standing committee chairman seats Monday as the ruling and opposition parties failed to reach a final deal on the formation of the 21st National Assembly standing committee.

After electing six standing committee chiefs on June 15, DP lawmakers voted for its nominees for eleven committees, except for the chief of the intelligence committee, in a plenary session held on Monday. It marks the first time that the ruling party monopolizes all chair posts in 35 years. 

The Monday parliamentary decision put DP lawmaker Jung Sung-ho at the chairmanship of the Special Committee on Budget and Accounts, DP floor leader Rep. Kim Tae-nyeon the House Steering Committee, and Rep. Youn Kwan-suk the National Policy Committee, among others. 

On Monday morning, the two rival parties’ floor leaders sat down for last-minute negotiations at the mediation of National Assembly Speaker, Rep. Park Byeong-seug, but failed to reach an agreement. “The rival parties drafted an agreement during talks on Sunday, but failed to reach a final deal today,” said National Assembly spokesperson Han Min-soo. 

According to the ruling party, the rival parties on Sunday tentatively agreed that the ruling DP has the option to take the chairman post of the Legislation and Judiciary Committee for the second half of the current four-year Assembly term. For the committee posts, the rival parties came close to reaching an agreement to dive up the 18 committee chairs, eleven for the ruling party and seven for the opposition group. They also tentatively agreed to reform the Legislation and Judiciary Standing Committee system, to handle the third supplementary budget bill within the June temporary session, and more. 

Immediately after the negotiation breakdown, the floor leaders of the two parties held a press conference and blamed each other for the breakdown. “The main opposition United Future Party (UFP) has notified that it refuses to take any chairman posts,” said DP floor leader Rep. Kim Tae-nyeon. “It was an inevitable choice for the normalization of the National Assembly and approval of the third extra budget,” he said. 

The UFP said it would not take the seven chairman posts proposed by the ruling party. “The DP didn’t accept my proposal to give the chairmanship of the judiciary committee to us for the latter half of the Assembly’s term,” UFP floor leader Rep. Joo Ho-young said. “It is meaningless to take seven other chairman posts.”

“The DP abandoned cooperative governance and coexistence,” Joo said. “The UFP decided not to take any committee chairman seats because doing otherwise would only make use a sidekick at the parliament that is unilaterally run by the DP.”

“I will not give up my role as a member of the opposition party. I will actively engage in the activities of the National Assembly to keep the ruling party in check,” Joo said. “I will keep checking the ruling party with facts, policies, logic and alternatives in the committee.”

The DP plans to take over the 17 standing committee chair posts and pass the government’s extra budget within this month’s extraordinary session which ends on July 3. 

“I decided to complete the formation of standing committee as I can no longer disregard the urgent appeals of the people and companies,” Assembly Speaker Park said at the Monday plenary session. “Today marks the first full month since the 21st National Assembly began, but its opening ceremony, as well as the formation of standing committees, has yet to be done. And for that, I feel very sorry,” he said. 

#Democratic Party #standing committee #National Assembly #United Future Party 
Copyright by Asiatoday