SEOUL, The National Assembly is set to hold a plenary session Monday to elect the chairs of standing committees as it was put back on track last week after a 45-day legislative vacuum.
Lawmakers will meet at 2:00 p.m. to elect the chairpersons of the 16 committees for the second half of the 20th parliament's four-year term. Rival parties reached an agreement last week over the formation of parliament's new leadership and its 18 committees.
The heads of another two committees will be voted on next Thursday. The parties have agreed to split the committee on education, culture, sports and tourism into two panels -- one handling education and the other in charge of the remaining affairs.
The National Assembly was normalized last Friday with the election of the new leadership, including Speaker Moon Hee-sang.
The former speaker's two-year term ended in May, but the parties started consultations over the formation of the committees in late June as opposition parties were stung by their resounding defeat in the June 13 local elections.
Under the deal reached last Tuesday, the ruling Democratic Party (DP) will chair eight committees, while the main opposition Liberty Korea Party (LKP) and the minor Bareunmirae Party (BP) will head seven and two panels, respectively. A joint negotiation bloc of two minor parties will lead one committee.
The DP will lead the steering committee, in line with the tradition of allowing the ruling party's floor leader to take the post. It is a key committee that handles the parliament's overall operations and oversees the presidential office.
The LKP will chair the judiciary committee, a key panel for the passage of bills, following grueling consultations. The DP had wanted the panel, claiming the opposition-led committee sometimes exerts too much authority by overhauling motions in a way that hampers their original intentions.
But instead of letting the largest opposition party be in charge of the committee, the parties also agreed to discuss how to limit the judiciary committee's authority at a smaller panel on improving the operations of the standing committees
Source: Yonhap News Agency