The 21st National Assembly officially convened Friday for its first plenary session.
During which, lawmakers elected six-term Park Byeong-seug of the ruling Democratic Party as National Assembly Speaker. As part of his acceptance speech, Park vowed to make the 21st National Assembly one that prioritizes the public.
"The 21st National Assembly should restore public trust, and break away from bad traditions. We should become a parliament that brings strength to our citizens. The basis of the 21st parliament will be the interests of our citizens and our nation. Let's achieve K-democracy through dialogue and cooperation."
Park will now leave the ruling party to lead the parliament as an independent lawmaker until May 2022.
Alongside Park, the ruling party's Kim Sang-hee took one of the two deputy speaker postsbecoming the first female lawmaker to do so.
The other deputy post set aside for the main opposition remains vacant, as the United Future Party, walked out of the chamber without voting, calling the session 'illegitimate'.
The two rival parties have been at odds over appointing the chairmen of the chamber's 18 standing committees, as both parties want the seat in the legislation and judiciary committees.
The ruling party, which has the vast majority of seats in parliament, pushed ahead with the session together with lawmakers from other parties, claiming that the session had to be convened Friday to abide by the constitution.
" Now that the 21st assembly has officially kicked off, tons of bills related to the livelihoods of the public await parliamentary screening.
Rival parties will meet to assign standing committee positions as soon as possible so that key pending bills, especially the nation's largest-ever supplementary budget, can be implemented swiftly."
Kim Mok-yeon, Arirang News.