Extra parliamentary session to open this week

SEOUL, An extraordinary parliamentary session will open this week following a two-month impasse as the ruling party and its three smaller rivals made a joint request to hold the June session on Monday.

But the main opposition Liberty Korea Party (LKP) did not join the move, clouding the outlook for the smooth operation of the National Assembly, including the passage of an extra budget bill aimed at boosting the slowing economy.

A political impasse came after the ruling Democratic Party (DP) and three minor parties jointly placed key political and judiciary reform bills on the fast-track in late April despite strong opposition from the LKP.

As partisan negotiations to resume the assembly's operation have failed, the minor opposition Bareunmirae Party (BP), the third-largest, spearheaded efforts to submit a request to open an extra session.

The request document containing signatures from 98 lawmakers from the ruling DP and the three minor parties was submitted to the National Assembly earlier in the day. The June session will open on Thursday.

A request to convene an extra session needs signatures from at least a quarter of 298 sitting lawmakers. The DP holds 128 posts, followed by the LKP with 112 and the BP with 28.

"We've decided to submit the request on the grounds that it will be meaningless to wait for a breakthrough in negotiations to resume the parliament," Rep. Kim Su-min, spokeswoman of the BP, told a press briefing.

The move comes as a drawn-out parliamentary impasse has delayed the passage of a 6.7 trillion-won (US$5.6 billion) extra budget bill and other legislation on people's livelihoods.

Source: Yonhap news Agency

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