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National Assembly locked in Sewol-ho ferry bill turmoil Updated: 2014-08-21 12:01:37 KST

National Assembly locked in Sewol-ho ferry bill turmoil
Bereaved families of April's ferry sinking are calling on lawmakers to overhaul a bipartisan deal aimed at uncovering the truth into the disaster, accusing the government of trying to cover up.

"Are you siding with the enemy? The fact the opposition party is telling us to concede to the terms they negotiated with the Saenuri Party's floor leader makes it sound as if we should walk hand-in-hand with the enemy. That's not possible."

The families held a meeting late on Wednesday to confirm their opposition to the compromised Sewol-ho ferry bill.
Rival party floor leaders had ironed out a deal on Tuesday, that would make the Saenuri Party receive approval from the main opposition party and the victim's families before nominating two committee members, ending weeks of bipartisan bickering over the special bill.
But families of more than 300 people killed in the ferry sinking call on the opposition party to try again to seek more concessions from the ruling party, saying the latest version of the bill would not guarantee a sufficiently thorough probe into the disaster as it lacks investigative and prosecutorial powers.
The ruling party said further negotiations were out of the question and regretted the families' rejection of the compromise.
Meanwhile, the opposition party had tried to persuade the families to support the bill but failed to do so.
The current political deadlock is preventing the passage of thousands of other bills as opposition lawmakers refuse to hold a plenary session unless the Sewol-ho ferry bill is passed first.
Some key pending legislation includes amendments to existing safety regulations and a series of economic bills.
Both parties are hoping to agree on creating some kind of consensus with the families within this month.
The National Assembly’s next extraordinary session begins this Friday.
Ji Myung-kil, Arirang News.
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