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Rival parties fail to reach compromise on sharing committees

All News 20:38 July 03, 2022

SEOUL, July 3 (Yonhap) -- The ruling and main opposition parties failed to reach a compromise Sunday on sharing parliamentary committees, leaving the National Assembly in limbo for over a month.

Rep. Kweon Seong-dong, floor leader of the ruling People Power Party (PPP), and Rep. Park Hong-geun, floor leader of the main opposition Democratic Party (DP), sat down for closed-door talks for the first time since late May to try to find a solution to the impasse.

Both sides said they held candid discussions on their respective positions but failed to narrow their gaps. They declined to give details.

Rep. Kweon Seong-dong, floor leader of the ruling People Power Party, takes reporters' questions at the National Assembly in Seoul on July 3, 2022. (Pool photo) (Yonhap)

Kweon told reporters he and Park agreed to meet again after dinner.

The DP has offered to hand over the chairmanship of the judiciary committee, a key Assembly panel that has the power to approve bills before they are put to a plenary vote, to the PPP in exchange for the PPP's cooperation for the launch of a special committee on judiciary reform.

But the PPP has rejected the proposal, because the special committee is aimed at completing the process of reducing and ultimately abolishing the prosecution's investigative powers in accordance with recently enacted prosecution reform laws, which the ruling bloc has opposed.

The DP, which holds 170 out of 299 seats in the National Assembly, has vowed to select a new speaker on its own at a plenary session Monday if no agreement is reached with the PPP.

The impasse in committee formation negotiations has left the Assembly idling for a month, forcing a halt in legislation and Cabinet member confirmation hearings.
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