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Rival parties set to open extraordinary session next week

(Yonhap)
(Yonhap)

The National Assembly appears likely to convene for another extraordinary session next week, with the end of the current parliamentary term fast approaching.

According to the ruling Democratic Party of Korea and main opposition United Future Party, the two sides have tentatively agreed to hold an extraordinary session sometime next week to process uncontested bills.

The ruling party’s Floor Leader Rep. Kim Tae-nyeon and his opposition counterpart Rep. Joo Ho-young are set to meet to discuss related issues Wednesday.

Democratic Party Deputy Floor Leader Rep. Kim Young-jin told the local media that the extraordinary session is likely to be held between May 19 and 21.

The two sides had initially held talks to open an extraordinary session early this week, but negotiations were halted due to Joo’s absence from the National Assembly. Joo, who is set to resume his duties Wednesday, has been away for his father’s funeral.

According to Cheong Wa Dae, Joo expressed willingness to cooperate with the ruling party when possible during a short meeting with Kang Ki-jung, the senior aide to the president for political affairs.

Kang held a short meeting with Joo in Daegu, where the funeral is being held, after paying respects to the main opposition floor leader’s father.

The bills that are expected to be passed next week include a revision to the Employment Insurance Act and others related to economic response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The rival parties are also expected to approve bills for strengthening measures against digital sex crimes, as well as those regarding laws found unconstitutional.

The current 20th National Assembly ends on May 29. The number of unprocessed bills, which expire automatically with the end of the National Assembly session during which they were proposed, stands at over 15,000. With the large number of bills left unprocessed, the current National Assembly is set to become the worst in history in terms of legislative activities, with only 36.6 percent of bills proposed during its term being processed so far.

By Choi He-suk (cheesuk@heraldcorp.com)
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