Lawmakers set to hold first plenary session but remain divided on key issues
The ruling Saenuri and the main opposition Democratic parties are set to hold their first plenary session of the National Assembly on Monday in an attempt to normalize operations at the parliament that have been disrupted by a string of contentious issues.
The lawmakers are way behind schedule, as the current session opened at the start of September for a 100-day run.
Starting Tuesday, lawmakers will hold emergency hearings over why the Park Geun-hye administration scaled back its pension program for senior citizens as well as the resignation of the nation's top prosecutor over allegations of having a child out of wedlock.
From October 14th to November 2nd, the National Assembly will carry out an audit of government offices.
On November 11th, a full Assembly session will be convened to listen in on the president's administrative speech on her budget plan for next year.
From November 12th, lawmakers will have a five-day interpellation session to question the government on a wide range of issues.
Although the lawmakers have returned to work, the two parties remain wide apart on a number of key issues like the scaled-back pension plan for senior citizens.
The pension program was one of President Park's key campaign pledges which called for giving a monthly allowance to all senior citizens aged 65 and above.
However, the plan was revised in next year's budget proposal, excluding the wealthiest 30 percent of senior citizens.
The opposition party accuses the president of making a false campaign promise but the ruling party insists the move was inevitable due to a tight budget and that they have already apologized for the change in plan.
Hwang Sung-hee, Arirang News.
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