The floor leaders of the ruling and opposition parties on Friday agreed to extend the terms of special parliamentary committees on judiciary and political reform until the end of August, signaling the end of an 84-day political deadlock.
The main opposition Liberty Korea Party also reached an internal consensus to unconditionally resume participation in parliamentary committees, wrapping up a protest that lasted nearly three months and brought the National Assembly to a standstill.
In the wake of the move in May by a ruling party coalition to fast-track key reform bills, the conservative party staged multiple nationwide rallies, accusing the Moon Jae-in administration and the ruling party of making unilateral decisions on politics and the economy.
“Once the ruling Democratic Party decides first (which special committee to chair), the other will naturally go to the Liberty Korea Party. We will finalize (the decision of) which special committee to chair upon gathering party members’ thoughts at a meeting in early July,” said Democratic Party spokesperson Lee Won-wook.
Though it has not yet been decided who will chair the special parliamentary committees on judiciary and political reform, one position must go to a lawmaker from the ruling Democratic Party and the other to the Liberty Korea Party.
Rep. Sim Sang-jung of the minor progressive Justice Party currently heads the special committee on political reform, while Rep. Lee Sang-min of the Democratic Party serves as the chair of the special committee on judiciary reform.
On the party’s decision to come back to the parliamentary committees in the face of growing criticism and distress among its moderate supporters, Liberty Korea Party Floor Leader Na Kyung-won emphasized that the party will concentrate on the “legislative fight.”
By Kim Bo-gyung (email@example.com