Rival parties flounder as Sewol-ho ferry bill drags onUpdated: 2014-08-30 18:47:53 (KST)
Thousands of main opposition party members and party leaders are staging street protests calling for the special Sewol-ho ferry bill to meet the demands of the victims' families.
Park Young-sun, the interim chief of the New Politics Alliance for Democracy, is urging President Park Geun-hye to meet with the bereaved families in a bid to call for the enactment of the special bill.
The opposition chief has been firm on her stance that the special bill must be passed ahead of other pending bills at the National Assembly.
However, the ruling Saenuri Party is demanding the special bill be dealt with separately, so bills aimed at improving the peoples' livelihoods can be voted upon.
Ruling party lawmakers accuse the main opposition of using the ferry bill as a means to further its own political ends.
After Saturday's mass rally, opposition party leaders plan to march from Jindo's Paengmok-hang harbor, the nearest site to the ferry sinking to Seoul sometime next week.
As the National Assembly's regular session begins on Monday, the ruling party is scheduled to meet with the victims' families for a third time in the hope of reaching a compromise over the bill.
The families are demanding the investigative committee be given the right to investigate and indict.
They also insist the ruling party should not be allowed to select any of the seven-member panel tasked with choosing a special counsel.
The government has been accused of bungling its initial response to the ferry disaster, which left more than 300 people dead or missing.
Ji Myung-kil, Arirang News.
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