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Ruling party yields Nat'l Assembly speaker post to opposition

All News 11:11 June 08, 2016

SEOUL, June 8 (Yonhap) -- After a days-long stalemate, South Korea's ruling Saenuri Party announced Wednesday that it will allow the main opposition to appoint the new National Assembly speaker, which will allow 20th National Assembly to start work in earnest.

The announcement opens the door for the main opposition Minjoo Party of Korea to designate the new National Assembly speaker. The deadlock on who will sit in the speaker's chair has stalled all parliamentary proceedings such as picking who will chair the 18 assembly committees.

The ruling Saenuri Party and the Minjoo Party have been wrangling over the formation of the committees as the main opposition managed to take one more seat in the 300-seat unicameral parliament following the April 13 polls.

The discussion had faced a deadlock as Saenuri claimed it should take the National Assembly speaker seat, in line with tradition, since the post has with very few exceptions been taken up by the ruling party in the past. The opposition countered that the No. 1 party in terms of the number of lawmakers has priority in picking the speaker.

Political pundits earlier said if the parties do not agree on the issue soon, the 20th National Assembly will get off to a rocky start, which bodes ill for cooperation between the parties down the road.

colin@yna.co.kr
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