National Assembly still at deadleack on last day of July's parliamentary sessionUpdated: 2014-08-19 14:36:33 (KST)
As they've been for months now, the nation's two main political parties remain at loggerheads over the passage of a special Sewol-ho ferry bill, with the main point of contention being who should have the right to choose a special counsel for the investigation.
With the current parliamentary session ending Tuesday, lawmakers have till the end of the day to come to terms on an agreement.
Failure to do so could have political implications.
For the ruling Saenuri Party, which says giving the committee investigative powers would undermine Korea's entire legal system, they'd face criticism for not being able to move forward with state affairs despite a parliamentary majority.
"Even if we were the opposition party, we would not back down from our principles. This is not a matter of politics. It's about making sure the nation's legal system is not disrupted."
For the main opposition New Politics Alliance for Democracy, interim chief Park Young-sun faces the prospect of intense backlash over first conceding earlier this month to the ruling party on the investigative power issue, but then backtracking on the agreement.
"We will not back down from our insistence for prosecutorial rights. We will fight for what the Saenuri Party has promised."
The Sewol-ho bill is holding parliament back from its normal functions, with a series of economic stimulus bills in limbo.
In fact, the National Assembly didn't pass a single piece of legislation in May, June or July despite extraordinary parliamentary sessions, all due to their failure to pass the ferry bill.
Demanding action,.. and a full and impartial investigation into the disaster , some of the ferry victims' families are on a hunger strike.
They also want to sit down for face-to-face talks with President Park Geun-hye to explain their position.
Ji Myung-kil, Arirang News.
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