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Main opposition threatens to draw up independent nat'l budget plan amid strife with ruling party

Politics 14:08 December 05, 2022

SEOUL, Dec. 5 (Yonhap) -- The main opposition Democratic Party (DP) on Monday warned it could revise and pass the national budget plan unilaterally if the ruling People Power Party (PPP) continues to stall for time.

The DP floor leader, Rep. Park Hong-geun, accused the PPP of irresponsibility in negotiating the national budget for next year, saying the DP could draw up its own budget plan and pass it before the regular session of the National Assembly ends on Friday.

"The government and the PPP have brought upon an unprecedented situation of refusing to attend a session of the parliamentary subcommittee on budget adjustment and thwarting the plenary session by irresponsibly bringing up a provisional budget to stall for time," Park said.

The Assembly was supposed to pass the annual budget plan by Friday last week but missed the legal deadline as the rival parties refused to budge in their standoff over the budget plan and a motion to dismiss Interior Minister Lee Sang-min over Itaewon crowd crush.

The DP floor leader also urged the PPP to cooperate in handling the dismissal motion, saying Lee has to step down so that parliament and the police can conduct a proper investigation into the tragedy so as to uncover the truth.

Last week, the DP tabled the motion to hold Lee accountable and vowed to push for a stronger impeachment motion against the minister if President Yoon Suk-yeol rejects the dismissal demand.

Lee has been facing criticism that his ministry botched the response to the crowd surge that killed at least 158 Halloween partygoers in Seoul's Itaewon district on the night of Oct. 29.

The PPP has opposed Lee's dismissal, saying he should be held accountable if ongoing police investigation and the planned parliamentary probe into the case prove he was at fault.

Main opposition Democratic Party floor leader Park Hong-geun (C) speaks at a party meeting held at the National Assembly in Seoul on Dec. 5, 2022. (Yonhap)

Main opposition Democratic Party floor leader Park Hong-geun (C) speaks at a party meeting held at the National Assembly in Seoul on Dec. 5, 2022. (Yonhap)

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