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(LEAD) Parties miss parliamentary formation deadline as they clash over key posts

All News 11:59 June 07, 2016

(ATTN: UPDATES para 9-10)

SEOUL, June 7 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's ruling and opposition parties remained deadlock on Tuesday over which side should fill the positions of the parliamentary speaker and chairs of key committees as they again missed the legal deadline for the formation of the parliament.

The ruling Saenuri Party and the Minjoo Party of Korea have been wrangling over parliamentary committees and who will name the National Assembly speaker after the main opposition secured one more seat vis-a-vis the ruling party in the April 13 polls.

Saenuri won 122 seats compared to the Minjoo's 123 in the 300-seat unicameral parliament with the rest being taken by minor parties and independents.

Saenuri claims it should take the speaker position in line with tradition, while the main opposition countered that the No. 1 party in terms of lawmakers should have priority in picking the speaker.

Saenuri is also eying the chairmanships of the steering, legislation, finance, budget and intelligence committees within the National Assembly. The Minjoo wants to chair the steering and national policy committees.

"I would like to apologize to the people for failing to meet the deadline," Rep. Chung Jin-suk, the floor leader of the Saenuri Party said.

Chung, however, said that the Minjoo's bid to take the National Assembly speaker seat is a "grave challenge against the parliamentary system," adding that it has no intention of yielding the gavel to the opposition.

The floor leader also ruled out speculation that the presidential office is behind Saenuri's stance on the parliamentary formation.

The People's Party claimed that the Saenuri and Minjoo should each field candidates, with lawmakers allowed to pick the one they prefer through a vote that would resolve the deadlock.

The major opposition said it agrees with the plan. Saenuri, however, is unlikely to accept the compromise because the People's Party will most likely back the Minjoo hopeful in a vote.

"There are hurdles in negotiations due to the internal dispute in the ruling camp, and interventions by the presidential office," Rep. Woo Sang-ho, the floor leader of the Minjoo Party, claimed. He then argued that the main opposition even yielded the chairmanship of the legislation committee to overcome the deadlock.

colin@yna.co.kr
(END)

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