SEOUL, The floor leaders of the four political parties met Tuesday to try to resolve contentious issues ahead of a deadline set for later in the day to normalize the National Assembly.
South Korea's ruling and opposition parties have been at loggerheads over a set of issues, including a proposed independent counsel probe into an online opinion rigging scandal.
National Assembly Speaker Chung Sye-kyun hosted the meeting, which involved Woo Won-shik of the ruling Democratic Party (DP), Kim Sung-tae of the main opposition Liberty Korea Party (LKP), Kim Dong-cheol of the centrist Bareunmirae Party and Roh Hoe-chan who represents a joint negotiation group of the Justice Party and the Party for Democracy and Peace (PDP).
Chung has set 2:00 p.m. Tuesday as a deadline for their negotiations aimed at normalizing the parliament, which has been crippled by a partisan standoff over the scandal.
The LKP has called for a launch of a special counsel investigation into the scandal that involved a power blogger, nicknamed Druking, with alleged ties to a ruling party lawmaker.
The ruling DP said that it could accept the proposal but under condition that lawmakers simultaneously put to a vote a bill on the independent probe with an extra budget bill in a parliamentary session scheduled for May 24.
The partisan stalemate worsened Saturday when a man punched the LKP's whip, while he was on a hunger strike in front of the National Assembly building, calling for an independent counsel investigation into the scandal.
Source: Yonhap News Agency