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(LEAD) Justice Party to seek coalition with minor party

All Headlines 19:52 March 17, 2018

(ATTN: UPDATES with reactions from PDP in paras 7-9)

SEOUL, March 17 (Yonhap) -- The progressive Justice Party will soon launch negotiations to form a coalition with the minor Party for Democracy and Peace (PDP), party officials said Saturday, a move aimed at forming a floor negotiation body that would give them a greater voice in the parliament.

The decision came out of a national committee meeting, Choi Seok, a party spokesman, said.

"The committee decided to launch negotiations to form a floor negotiation body as part of efforts to realize public demands seen in the candlelight vigils last year," he said.

A floor negotiation body requires at least 20 assembly seats and is given priority in most parliamentary procedures.

Leaders of floor negotiation groups may also address the parliament at the beginning of each regular or extraordinary parliamentary session.

The Justice Party currently controls only six seats while the minor opposition PDP has 14 seats.

The PDP quickly welcomed the Justice Party's decision.

"The PDP and the Justice Party will actively voice efforts to realize the candlelight revolution -- including the establishment of peace on the Korean Peninsula, eradication of deep-rooted social evils and reform of powerful organizations -- by forming a joint floor negotiation body in the future," Rep. Lee Yong-ju, a floor spokesman for the PDP, said in a statement.

The parties will also work to give more voice to non-floor negotiation groups and independent lawmakers, he added.

Currently, there are three floor negotiations bodies in the unicameral house. They are the ruling Democratic Party, the main opposition Liberty Korea Party and the minor Bareunmirae Party.
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