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Main opposition repeats demand for legislation committee chairship

United Future Party floor leader Rep. Joo Ho-young. (Yonhap)
United Future Party floor leader Rep. Joo Ho-young. (Yonhap)
The main opposition United Future Party will not renegotiate allocation of parliamentary committee chair posts unless the Legislation and Judiciary Committee chair is included, Floor Leader Rep. Joo Ho-young said Wednesday.

Speaking in a radio interview, the main opposition floor leader said that while the issue will be discussed with the ruling Democratic Party of Korea’s Floor Leader Rep. Kim Tae-nyeon, his party will not accept changes that do not include the legislation committee.

“The problem with committee distribution began over the legislation committee,” Joo said.

“(The Democratic Party) allocated seven committees to us -- and to take over these committees at any time -- but the seven cannot be taken without a change in the legislation committee.”

Although main opposition party members have customarily chaired a number of parliamentary committees including the Legislation and Judiciary Committee, the Democratic Party broke from the custom after its sweeping win in the general elections.

The main opposition responded by ending related talks, and the Democratic Party filled all 18 posts.

The fallout led to the main opposition boycotting parliamentary proceedings, and held back the opening of the current 21st National Assembly for several weeks.

While the main opposition draws the line, the ruling party appears unlikely to give up the legislation committee chair.

On Tuesday, newly elected Democratic Party Chairman Rep. Lee Nak-yon indicated that revisiting the issue is not on the table.

Speaking at a meeting with the main opposition’s interim leader Kim Chong-in, Lee said that difficulties experienced ahead of the parliament’s opening being repeated will cause concern to the public, indirectly rejecting the possibility of selecting a new head for the legislation committee.

By Choi He-suk (cheesuk@heraldcorp.com)
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