Party concerned about S. Korean fight bill

April 20, 2012 at 4:22 PM
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SEOUL, April 20 (UPI) -- Members of South Korea's ruling Saenuri Party said a pending bill aimed at preventing physical altercations between lawmakers would have other consequences.

The bill, on which the National Assembly is expected to vote before the end of its session next week, would limit the parliamentary speaker's authority to bring a bill to a floor vote only to be effective in times of national emergency, natural disaster or war, the Yonhap news agency reported Friday.

The bill would also require a consensus of three-fifths of the 300-seat National Assembly to demand a fast-track vote or end a filibuster. Current rules require a majority to achieve such actions.

Chung Eui-hwa, the acting National Assembly speaker from the ruling Saenuri Party, said the bill would end the majority rule of democracy in passing bills.

"In our history, not a single party has commanded three-fifths of seats. The proposed rule, if passed, will contradict the Constitution's majority rule," Chung said. "It is also feared that no disputed bills will pass parliament, as the culture of dialogue and compromise is still immature in our politics."

However, the main opposition Democratic United Party reaffirmed its support for the bill and said it "will not change" the proposed rules.

"The parties took a long time to agree on the bill," said Noh Young-min, the DUP floor spokesman. "The new system will set a new frame of parliament as rival parties will not be able to solve any pending issues without dialogue and debate."

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