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Opposition to end marathon filibuster fails to derail anti-terrorism bill

All Headlines 01:37 March 01, 2016

SEOUL, March 1 (Yonhap) -- The main opposition Minjoo Party of Korea decided to put an end to an ongoing week-long filibuster aimed at blocking a government-backed anti-terrorism bill, party officials said Tuesday.

The party leadership made the decision during an emergency committee meeting late Monday and Lee Jong-kul, the party's floor leader, will hold a press conference at 9 a.m. Tuesday to officially announce the decision, they said.

More than 20 opposition lawmakers have stood at the podium at the National Assembly chamber since Feb. 23 and took turns delivering speeches in opposition to the bill that they claim would give too much power to the intelligence agency.

The bill is most likely to pass following the end of the filibuster as the ruling Saenuri Party controls 157 seats in the 293-member National Assembly.

Floor leader Lee, along with most of his colleagues, argued for continuing the speeches but interim Chairman Kim Chong-in argued to halt the delaying tactic, citing concerns over the delay in the parliamentary endorsement of several contentious bills.

The filibuster prevented the passage of a bipartisan deal on redrawing electoral districts for general elections in April.

Earlier, the Saenuri Party and the Minjoo Party reached the agreement to hold a plenary session to deliberate on the deal on the remapping for electoral districts for the April 13 polling.

Separately, a long-awaited bill aimed at improving North Korea's human rights condition also awaits to be taken to the floor for a vote.
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