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Interparty standoff mars parliament to the last day of regular session

Interparty standoff mars parliament to the last day of regular session

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Published : 2013-12-10 20:17
Updated : 2013-12-10 20:17

Democratic Party chairman Rep. Kim Han-gil (right) passes by as Rep. Yang Seoung-jo explains his comments regarding President Park Geun-hye at the National Assembly on Tuesday. (Park Hyun-koo/The Korea Herald)

The fallout from opposition lawmakers’ attacks on President Park Geun-hye has continued to engulf the National Assembly on Tuesday, disrupting its proceedings on the final day of the 100-day regular session.

The ruling Saenuri Party submitted motions for the dismissal of Democratic Party lawmakers Reps. Jang Ha-na and Yang Seung-jo over their comments that deny the presidential election and condemn President Park Geun-hye.

The Saenuri Party also cancelled a session of the special committee on National Intelligence Service reform scheduled to be held in the morning.

Although DP chairman Rep. Kim Han-gil rejected the ruling party’s demand for a formal apology, he took a stricter stance on related issues.

“Each (lawmaker) should be careful, as statements based on personal convictions can sometimes damage the party,” Kim said at the party’s general meeting Tuesday.

Kim, however, added a warning to the Saenuri Party, saying its attempts at exaggerating the situation appear to be aimed at “reviving the spark of political wrangling.”

“(The Saenuri Party) should realize that the party’s self-righteousness and overzealous loyalty (to the president) is dragging down the status of the National Assembly,” he said.

On Sunday first-term lawmaker Jang publicly declared that she is refuting the presidential election results and called for a reelection to be held on June 4 along with provincial elections.

Just as the ruling party prepared to deal with Jang’s statement, Yang added fuel to the fire by comparing President Park Geun-hye to her assassinated father President Park Chung-hee.

The DP’s attempts to douse the fire by saying that Jang had gone against the party’s official stance did little to appease the ruling party.

For her part, the first-term lawmaker has reiterated her point and claimed that the probability of the ethics committee approving her expulsion was “much lower than the president resigning.”

As for Yang, he defended his comments and accused the presidential office and the ruling party of twisting his words and exaggerating the situation.

Saying that he was not implying that the president would follow in her father’s footsteps of being assassinated but in terms of becoming a dictator, Yang said that he ― and not the president ― was being subjected to an attack.

In response to Yang’s comments, the presidential office declared that the DP lawmaker had engaged in “verbal murder” and that he was instigating harm against the president.

“Would a person who is instigating harm with the intention of bringing the president down say ‘President Park Geun-hye is the only person capable of resolving the situation’?” Yang said.

“Do not threaten and intimidate a parliamentarian and the people. The only person who can resolve the situation is President Park Geun-hye, who is the final and highest authority.”

By Choi He-suk (cheesuk@heraldcorp.com)

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