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Ruling partly elects standing committee heads in unilateral voting

National Assembly Speaker Park Byeong-seug presides over a plenary assembly session. (Yonhap)
National Assembly Speaker Park Byeong-seug presides over a plenary assembly session. (Yonhap)

The ruling Democratic Party went it alone and elected the chairmen of the National Assembly's six key standing committees without the main opposition party Monday after bipartisan negotiations fizzled out.

Convening a full-floor assembly session, the DP and minor parties elected six DP lawmakers to head six out of the total 18 parliamentary standing committees without the participation of the main opposition United Future Party.

Since the new term started on May 30, the National Assembly has been at a standstill as the two rival parties couldn't agree on how to distribute the 18 committee chairmen posts.

Both parties sought to take the legislation and judiciary committee, the gateway to the final plenary session.

As weeks-long bipartisan negotiations yielded no results, the DP, which controls 176 out of the 300 assembly seats, pushed ahead with the voting to elect the chairmen of the six committees, including those on finance, foreign affairs, health and defense affairs.

In protest, UFP lawmakers boycotted the voting and picketed outside of the main assembly hall.

"Having had to form some of the standing committees without a bipartisan agreement, I am very regretful and sorry," National Assembly Speaker Park Byeong-seug said before he put the voting on the table. (Yonhap)
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