Parties to submit request for extra parliamentary session

By 옥현주
  • Published : Jul 18, 2014 - 14:50
  • Updated : Jul 18, 2014 - 14:50

The ruling and main opposition parties will submit a request Friday for an extra parliamentary session aimed at passing a special bill on April's deadly ferry sinking, party officials said.

The bill calls for the creation of a parliamentary inspection team to look into the cause of the April 16 disaster as well as measures to provide compensation to families of the victims.

The government has been accused of bungling its initial response to the sinking, resulting in the deaths of more than 300 people, mostly high school students.

The request for the extra session comes after the ruling Saenuri Party and the main opposition New Politics Alliance for Democracy (NPAD) failed to pass the bill by their agreed deadline of Thursday, the last day of the previous extra parliamentary session, amid wrangling over the issue of giving independent investigative powers to the inspection team.

"It will be difficult for working-level (party officials) to resolve the issue, so it appears that negotiations will continue at the chief policymaker level," Rep. Kim Jae-won, deputy floor leader of the ruling party, said in a phone interview with Yonhap News Agency.

Rep. Kim Yung-rok, his NPAD counterpart, accused the ruling party of deliberately delaying the process.

"Unless the Saenuri Party wanted to stall for time and make the opposition party and the families give up from exhaustion, they couldn't do this," he said.

The opposition party has called for appointing a special judicial police officer to the inspection team to ensure an effective investigation, but the ruling party has opposed the proposal over concerns it could disturb the judicial system and the division of powers prescribed by the Constitution.

The ruling party has instead proposed the appointment of an independent special prosecutor who would conduct investigations at the request of the inspection team.

The new extra session is expected to begin on Monday and run through Aug. 19, allowing the rival parties to pass the bill as soon as a compromise is reached, the officials said. (Yonhap)