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Rival parties fail to reach consensus on controversial media bill

All News 23:05 August 30, 2021

SEOUL, Aug. 30 (Yonhap) -- Rival parties on Monday failed to agree on a controversial media bill and decided to meet again the next day to discuss its fate.

Reps. Yun Ho-jung and Kim Gi-hyeon, floor leaders of the ruling Democratic Party (DP) and the main opposition People Power Party (PPP), respectively, said their negotiations over the so-called media arbitration bill ended without an agreement after holding four rounds of back-to-back meetings earlier in the day.

The bill is designed to impose a fivefold increase in penalties on media outlets that make false or fabricated news reports, prompting heated criticism from opposition parties and media industry groups that it is intended to gag critical media in the run-up to next year's presidential election.

At issue was the DP's drive to pass the contentious bill, based on its absolute parliamentary majority, at a plenary voting session scheduled for the day.

On the back of fierce backlash from the local media industry against the bill, however, the PPP had threatened to mount a filibuster to block its passage.

The breakdown of the bipartisan talks led to the cancellation of a plenary session slated for the day, where a string of key bills, including that on blocking Google's upcoming policy to enforce the exclusive use of its in-app payment system, were to be put to a vote.

The floor leaders said they will meet again on Tuesday morning to continue their negotiations.

Reps. Kim Gi-hyeon (L) and Yun Ho-jung, floor leaders of the main opposition People Power Party and the Democratic Party, respectively, speak to reporters after failing to reach an agreement over a contentious media bill on Aug. 30, 2021. (Yonhap)

pbr@yna.co.kr
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