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Parliament begins May extraordinary session Updated: 2014-05-19 22:44:15 KST

 Parliament begins May extraordinary session

The Sewol-ho ferry tragedy will dominate this month's parliamentary extraordinary session.
Under the plans already agreed upon by the ruling Saenuri Party and the main opposition New Politics Alliance for Democracy, a request for a parliamentary investigation into the disaster will be submitted on Tuesday.
It will be followed by a two-day session, where lawmakers will grill government officials over the failed response to the nation's worst maritime disaster in decades.
But not all related officials will appear.

"The oceans minister and the coast guard chief will not attend the hearings as they have the responsibility of being at the Sewol-ho ferry accident site."

The opposition alliance wants a number of investigations into the tragedy launched immediately.
It is calling for a parliamentary probe, a separate independent counsel investigation and a parliamentary hearing.

"The special committee on Sewol-ho ferry opens today. We must devise measures to help the families of the victims and we must conduct a parliamentary probe. The National Assembly must accomplish all we need to do."

However, the ruling party is likely to approach the issues more cautiously and focus more on follow-up measures and uncovering the cause of the accident.
Especially with regard to the special counsel investigation, the two parties are unlikely to reach a consensus, with the Saenuri Party and New Politics Alliance for Democracy bickering over its timing and scope, as well as the appointment of a special counsel.

"Both rival parties plan to finalize the details of a special parliamentary investigation into the April ferry disaster on May 27th.
Ji Myung-kil, Arirang News."
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