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Assembly ends with little achieved

The National Assembly held its last general assembly Thursday morning to pass some 210 pending bills, but only without disputed labor and economic bills. The revised election bill to redraw electoral districts, also remained up in the air.

Parliamentary Speaker Chung Ui-hwa, who had refused to push ahead with the bill on his own authority, said that he would submit his version for review to the National Election Commission at midnight.

“There will be a legislative emergency situation starting from midnight, when the current constituency system loses its binding power,” Chung told reporters on Thursday morning.

His plan will involve keeping the number of regional parliamentary seats at the current 246 and that of proportional representatives at 54.

Chung’s bill is expected to undergo a review by the commission, which will then resubmit it to the Assembly for endorsement by Jan. 8.

National Assembly on Dec. 31. Yonhap
National Assembly on Dec. 31. Yonhap


In a New Year address, President Park Geun-hye reiterated her calls for the swift passage of pending bills.

“I will complete the three-year economic innovation plan and also achieve reforms in the public sector, finance, education and labor,” Park said.

The president had repeatedly underlined that the pending bills were crucial to improve the nation’s economy, create jobs and promote public safety.

While the government and the ruling party continued to call for the passage of what they referred to as the people’s welfare bills, the opposition camp vowed to block them, which they saw as aggravating inequality and job insecurity.

“The Minjoo Party is the only party that may suggest an alternative to the working class,” Minjoo Party leader Rep. Moon Jae-in said in his New Year’s address.

His Saenuri counterpart, meanwhile blasted the main opposition for holding back the economic and labor reform bills.

“The opposition party will face the people’s judgment in the general election for blocking the nation’s economic improvement,” said Saenuri leader Kim Moo-sung at the Supreme Council meeting.

By Bae Hyun-jung (tellme@heraldcorp.com)



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