Last Minute Negotiations over Govt. Restructuring Bills
Both the ruling and opposition party leaders and floor leaders met Sunday morning in an effort to push forward President Park's government restructuring plans.
The main opposition Democratic United Party's floor leader Park Ki-choon suggested parliamentary consideration of all of the government restructuring bills with the EXCEPTION of the one creating the Ministry of Future, Creation and Science.
"The president and the ruling party should not chain themselves to their so-called creative economy plans. We urge them to change their way of thinking and accept our compromise deal."
The new science ministry has been at the center of a partisan fight over the government's restructuring plans because the DUP strongly opposes the proposed transfer of the Korea Communications Commission's oversight over the broadcasting industry to the ministry.
The DUP has argued that the transfer of broadcasting oversight would endanger media neutrality as it would place broadcasting policy directly under the government's control.
However, the ruling party leadership rejected the compromise saying that it's inappropriate to leave out the one bill that deals with the new government's core ministry.
"Media neutrality will not be compromised. Let us ensure the fairness of media while allowing the broadcasting and communication sectors to take a leap forward with this new ministry."
President Park and the ruling Saenuri Party have insisted that the new science ministry needs the broadcasting policy oversight functions to enable it to fuse together the broadcasting and communications sectors and strengthen content creation for the ICT industry.
The party leaders' talks continued on Sunday afternoon at the National Assembly.
Although President Park Geun-hye invited the party and floor leaders to the presidential office of Cheong Wa Dae for a Sunday session, the leaders failed to attend the meeting.
The presidential office expressed regret over the opposition party's failure to show up for the meeting with the president.
However, the DUP said having a meeting with the president before the end of the negotiations over the government restructuring bills would have been inappropriate and disappointing to the public.
The parliament's extraordinary session ends on Tuesday.
If the parties fail to approve the government restructuring plans by then, it would further delay forming the Cabinet and prevent the new government from getting to work.
Kim Yeon-ji, Arirang News.
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