NATIONAL

Main opposition party ends protest against govt.

By Kim Bo-gyung
  • Published : May 26, 2019 - 15:12
  • Updated : May 28, 2019 - 17:37

Liberty Korea Party Chairman Hwang Kyo-ahn returned to the National Assembly over the weekend after holding an 18 day-long rally nationwide in protest against the liberal government for fast-tracking critical reform bills.

The conservative party plans to hold a workshop this week to share views of supporters garnered during the rally and roll out the party’s road map in the coming days.

Though the party has concluded its first round of protest, it has not ruled out the possibility of staging a another round of outdoor rallies.

Extending outdoor rallies is widely expected to further hinder the June extraordinary parliamentary session amid a deadlock between the ruling and main opposition party and conflict within minor opposition Bareunmirae Party.

Main opposition Liberty Korea Party Chairman Hwang Kyo-ahn (front row, third from left) and Floor Leader Na Kyung-won (front row, second from left) take part in the sixth protest against the government at Gwanghwamun Square on Saturday. (Yonhap)

During the party’s sixth massive protest at Gwanghwamun Square on Saturday, Hwang claimed, “The Moon Jae-in administration is incompetent, irresponsible and lacks a counterplan.”

The protest was also joined by Liberty Korea Party floor leader Na Kyung-won and some 50,000 supporters, according to the party’s estimates.

Wrapping up the conservative party’s unprecedented outdoor protests, Hwang posted on social media, “It was hell on the spot. Citizens cried for help. This is the reality of South Korea.”

He lambasted the Moon administration’s economic policies saying, “It is like (Korea is facing) a second Asian financial crisis. There needs to be a new strategy for growth, but the Moon government hasn’t presented any solutions.”

Critics say Hwang has tightened his grip through protests and is now tasked with introducing viable policies and politics to gain backup from swing center-right voters.

Even as Hwang and the party are mulling additional protests the government-proposed 6.7 trillion won ($5.65 billion) extra budget awaits parliamentary vote.

The main opposition party has been insisting the ruling party scrap the fast-tracking key reform bills and apologize for pushing ahead despite its vehement objection, while the ruling Democratic Party has repeatedly affirmed its stance on the issue.

In a bid to reach a consensus and to put the National Assembly back on track ruling party Floor Leader Lee In-young, Liberty Korea Party’s Na and Bareunmirae Party’s Oh Shin-hwan convened a meeting over beer last week.

They agreed on the necessity to swiftly normalize the National Assembly, but ended without notable progress. 

By Kim Bo-gyung (lisakim425@heraldcorp.com)