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Parties leave June extra session with no deal

July 20,2019
Rival parties failed to reach a deal Friday to hold a plenary meeting, effectively scuttling the passage of an extra budget bill during the June extraordinary parliamentary session.

The National Assembly was set to end the final day of the extra session without passing the budget bill and other key proposals amid heightened partisan tensions over a bill to propose that President Moon Jae-in dismiss the defense minister.

The parties held negotiations to discuss contentious issues, including a parliamentary resolution calling on Japan to withdraw its export curbs against the South.

National Assembly Speaker Moon Hee-sang presided over the talks to mediate the rival parties, but they failed to reach an agreement.

They wrangled over the bill that called for the dismissal of Defense Minister Jeong Kyeong-doo for his responsibility in the lapse of maritime security when a North Korean boat entered a South Korean port undetected last month.

The main opposition Liberty Korea Party (LKP) and the minor opposition Bareunmirae Party (BP) demanded a two-day plenary meeting to vote on the bill, but the ruling Democratic Party (DP) rejected the idea.

The LKP demanded the DP accept either a parliamentary probe into the case or a vote on the dismissal proposal for next week as a precondition for passing an extra budget bill through parliament.

The minor BP proposed a plenary meeting for Monday to handle bills on Jeong’s dismissal and a 6.7 trillion-won ($5.7 billion) extra budget.

President Moon and the chiefs of five political parties held a meeting a day earlier to discuss bipartisan responses to Japan’s export curbs, but they failed to make any breakthrough.

Under the Constitution, the National Assembly can propose the dismissal of the prime minister or cabinet members to the president.

The passage of such a motion requires the approval of the majority of sitting lawmakers, but the president can reject such proposals as they are not legally binding.

Yonhap