Saenuri calls for ‘green light law’

By Korea Herald
  • Published : Apr 1, 2014 - 21:00
  • Updated : Apr 1, 2014 - 21:00
Ruling Saenuri Party floor leader Rep. Choi Kyung-hwan called for more revisions to the National Assembly Act on Tuesday, reigniting controversy over the so-called National Assembly advancement act.

In his parliamentary address, Choi said that the act needs additional revisions, adding that measures were needed to prevent the advancement act from becoming a “National Assembly paralysis act.”

“The advancement act is leading to the creation of an incompetent parliament, and amplifying distrust in politics,” Choi said, going on to propose four new revisions.

Citing the parliament’s failure to pass nuclear materials-related acts before the Nuclear Security Summit, Choi said that “common sense was shattered within the National Assembly.”

The National Assembly advancement act refers to revisions to the National Assembly Act made in 2012 under the Saenuri Party’s initiative to aid parliamentary operations. The group of revisions includes the clause limiting the speaker’s power to put contentious agendas to vote and allowing filibusters. 
Saenuri Party floor leader Rep. Choi Kyung-hwan addresses the parliament on the first day of the April parliamentary session Tuesday. (Lee Gil-dong/The Korea Herald)

The proposed revisions include introducing the “green light law,” establishing a senior lawmakers’ council consisting of the National Assembly speaker, chairs of the two largest parties and lawmakers who have served five or more terms.

According to the “green light law,” motions ruling and opposition parties fully agree on will be fast-tracked and the acts will be passed in the plenary session on a date chosen by the National Assembly speaker.

Choi also proposed limiting the parliamentary Legislation and Judiciary Committee’s power to reviewing whether proposed laws clash with others.

The Saenuri floor leader’s fourth proposal is to set a deadline for negotiating the timing of a National Assembly session so that the session would begin automatically if parties fail to agree within a specified period of time.

Along with the National Assembly act, Choi also proposed expanding the special auditor system to bring lawmakers, judges and prosecutors, ministers and deputy ministers and heads of state-run companies under its scope.

At present the system, established in February, subjects the president’s relatives, including cousins, and chief presidential secretaries to the special monitoring.

The main opposition New Politics Alliance for Democracy immediately hit back, accusing Choi of avoiding responsibility.

“It is truly disappointing that (Choi) blamed the opposition party for the most part citing the National Assembly advancement act without proposing a detailed blueprint for (improving) people’s livelihoods,” NPAD spokesperson Rep. Han Jeoung-ae said. She added that the proposed revisions would create a “National Assembly regression act,” and bring back physical clashes between lawmakers.

“The government and the ruling party must discard the habit of blaming the opposition for everything. (The NPAD) expects to see a responsible ruling party during the April parliamentary session.”

By Choi He-suk (