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House speaker to put to vote bill on economic revitalization

All News 19:00 January 29, 2016

SEOUL, Jan. 29 (Yonhap) -- National Assembly Speaker Chung Ui-hwa said Friday that he will invoke his authority to take a bill designed to revitalize the economy to the floor and put it to a vote on Friday.

The bill is aimed at invigorating business activities by easing regulations so that companies can make investments and restructure more easily.

Earlier, rival parties have agreed to pass the bill through the National Assembly's regular session scheduled to open later in the day.

However, the main opposition Minjoo Party hinted at boycotting the session.

"I will exercise the power to forcibly put the bill to a vote," Chung was quoted by his aides as saying.

Under the National Assembly Act, a National Assembly speaker can table a bill to a session in the event of a natural disaster, state emergency or under an agreement between rival parties.

The bill would be passed since the ruling Saenuri Party currently holds a majority with 157 of the National Assembly's 293 sitting seats.

Chung, however, will not put to a vote a bill aimed at improving North Korea's dismal human rights situation, the aides said.

The bill calls for efforts to improve the North's human rights situation and set up a center tasked with investigating the North's human rights situation.

Rival parties have failed to narrow their differences over one of the clauses on the bill.

Similar bills were scrapped in recent years as lawmakers have shied away from the issue of the North's human rights out of fear that it could strain inter-Korean relations.

North Korea has long been accused of human rights abuses, ranging from holding political prisoners in concentration camps to torture and carrying out public executions.

khj@yna.co.kr
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