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Court to review constitutionality of parliamentary act

All News 12:11 January 28, 2016

SEOUL, Jan. 28 (Yonhap) -- The Constitutional Court will hold a public hearing Thursday to review the constitutionality of the contentious National Assembly Act amid a parliamentary speaker's move to revise it.

The act, passed in May 2012, stipulates that a bill with contested issues can only be put up for a vote with the approval of more than 60 percent of sitting lawmakers and requires a bipartisan agreement for a parliamentary speaker to table a bill.

The clause, however, has been criticized as the main culprit of paralyzing the 19th National Assembly as the ruling party could not send contentious bills to the floor for a vote without consent from opposition parties.

A total of 19 lawmakers from the ruling Saenuri Party filed a petition with the Constitutional Court in January 2015, arguing that the clause goes against the Constitution and a simple majority rule.

Rival parties have asked the court to deliver the ruling before the current parliament wraps up in May.

Separately, National Assembly Speaker Chung Ui-hwa is scheduled to table the revision to the act later in the day.

Under the bipartisan revision supported by 15 lawmakers from the ruling and opposition parties, a speaker can introduce a bill for voting when a simple majority of lawmakers make the demand.

Chung said the clause has paralyzed the parliament by preventing lawmakers from passing a set of important bills.


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