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Opposition names six-term lawmaker Chung Sye-kyun as Nat'l Assembly speaker

All News 14:00 June 09, 2016

SEOUL, June 9 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's main opposition Minjoo Party of Korea on Thursday picked six-term lawmaker Chung Sye-kyun as its National Assembly candidate for National Assembly speaker, after reaching an agreement on parliamentary formation with the ruling party earlier this week.

Under the decision, Rep. Chung has been tapped to be the speaker for the first half of the 20th National Assembly. Chung will be obligated to sever party ties during his two-year term.

The move came after the ruling Saenuri Party agreed to let Minjoo take the speaker's post on Wednesday. In exchange it secured the right to appoint the chairs for the critical house steering and legislation committees. The latter, in particular, can hold up bills from being put to a vote in the plenary session.

Lawmakers are expected to vote on the candidates at the plenary session of parliament later in the day.

Saenuri and Minjoo had been fighting over the speaker post, especially as the April 13 election showed no concrete winner. 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.

colin@yna.co.kr
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