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Disputed Bills Fast-Tracked against Main Opposition Protest

Write: 2019-04-30 13:17:56Update: 2019-05-01 15:27:09

Disputed Bills Fast-Tracked against Main Opposition Protest

Photo : YONHAP News

Anchor: Two parliamentary committees have placed key reform bills on the fast-track amid strong objections from the main opposition Liberty Korea Party(LKP). With main opposition lawmakers guarding entryways to special committee chambers, the ruling and minor opposition parties changed the time and venue of their sessions in order to begin the process of revising election laws and establishing a new anti-corruption investigator.   
Kim Bum-soo wraps up the situation. 


[Sound bite: Rep. Sim Sang-jeung - Chairwoman, Parliamentary Special Committee for Political Reform (Apr. 30)]
"[Fast-tracking] has been approved with the agreement of three-fifths of the 18 members." 

The ruling Democratic Party and three minor opposition parties fast-tracked a proposed revision to the nation's election law, rendering the main opposition ineffective in blocking the bill at the committee-stage. 

The special political reform committee session was convened early morning Tuesday.

[Sound bite: Rep. Lee Sang-min - Chairman, Parliamentary Special Committee for Judiciary Reform (Apr. 29)] 
"Approved with eleven voting for [fast-tracking]"
Shortly before midnight, the special judiciary reform committee also voted to fast-track different options for establishing a new state anti-corruption investigator.

With main opposition Liberty Korea Party(LKP) lawmakers guarding entryways to committee chambers, the four parties had to change the time and venue for their sessions. LKP lawmakers came late and expressed anger. 

The main opposition believes that the upcoming general elections next spring will be tougher under the proposed polling revisions. It is also concerned that progressive lawyers could be appointed to lead the proposed investigative authority. 

Regardless of the LKP's opposition, fast-tracked bills will be automatically put to a plenary vote within 330 days whether or not bipartisan agreement is reached by the relevant committees.

The ruling party last week filed criminal complaints against 18 LKP lawmakers, including Floor Leader Na Kyung-won, for violating the National Assembly Advancement Act which bans physical altercations in parliament.

The LKP maintains that it is illegal for the minor opposition Bareunmirae Party to replace special reform committee members who wanted to exercise their casting votes against fast-tracking the bills. The LKP claims it was also unlawful for National Assembly Speaker Moon Hee-sang to approve the move.
Kim Bum-soo, KBS World Radio News.

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