Opposition lawmakers have occupied the National Assembly building, blocking all parliamentary proceedings to press their demand that the ruling party let the victims' families take part in setting up an investigation into the ferry sinking.
Following the ruling party's rejection one day earlier to hold three-way talks with the families, lawmakers of the New Politics Alliance for Democracy on Tuesday demonstrated outside the presidential office of Cheong Wa Dae asking President Park Geun-hye to help resolve the deadlock.
They joined dozens of members of bereaved families who have been camped out there since Friday.
" We will fight against the ruling Saenuri Party and the president until they respond to the requests of the victims' families, who want to uncover the real causes of the sinking."
The protesters are calling on the ruling party to make yet another concession after the families rejected bipartisan compromise deals twice on the grounds that their voices were not fully reflected in how a probe into the accident will be carried out.
The ruling party lashed back at the opposition party,.accusing them of abandoning democratic principles and urging them to immediately return to the National Assembly.
The Saenuri Party said they will not agree on tripartite negotiations, but will seek to talk to the victims' relatives separately.
The months-long political deadlock has suspended all legislative proceedings, including bills aimed at revitalizing the economy and ending corruption, as well as an annual parliamentary audit that was scheduled for this Tuesday.
Connie Kim, Arirang News.
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