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New parliament opens 1st session amid opposition boycott

All News 11:22 June 05, 2020

SEOUL, June 5 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's newly elected parliament convened its first plenary session Friday, but the main opposition party boycotted the event in protest against the ruling party's plan for the organization of parliamentary standing committees.

The first full-floor meeting of the 21st National Assembly was called after the ruling majority Democratic Party submitted a unilateral request for the new chamber's inaugural session earlier this week.

Lawmakers of the main opposition United Future Party (UFP) attended the opening of the session, but all of them walked out of the chamber soon as a gesture of their protest.

"Today's meeting is not legitimate because there was no agreement between the ruling and opposition parties (over how to organize the standing committees)," UFP floor leader Rep. Joo Ho-young said at the beginning of the session before the lawmakers' walkout.

"I want to make clear that our presence here is meant to show our protest, not to endorse the plenary session," he noted.

The two rival parties are at odds over the naming of the chairmen of the chamber's 18 standing committees, as both parties want the seat in the key committee on legislation and judiciary.

United Future Party floor leader Rep. Joo Ho-young speaks during the opening of the first full floor meeting of the 21st National Assembly in Seoul on June 5, 2020. (Yonhap)


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