SEOUL, Nov. 19 (Yonhap) -- The floor leaders of the ruling Democratic Party (DP) and two opposition parties met Monday to discuss ways to break the current parliamentary stalemate amid partisan tensions.
The main opposition Liberty Korea Party (LKP) and the minor Bareunmirae Party (BP) boycotted a plenary session on Thursday, demanding the dismissal of the presidential secretary for civil affairs and a parliamentary probe into a hiring scandal at a public subway operator.
Their boycott will likely delay the National Assembly's review of the government's 2019 budget proposal and the passage of key bills on the economy.
A legal deadline to handle the budget bill is Dec. 2, but the parties have yet to agree on how to compose a sub-parliamentary panel to review the budget.
"We are asking for opposition cooperation to put the National Assembly back on track as the parliamentary gridlock should not continue any longer," Hong Young-pyo, the DP's floor leader, said at the start of the meeting.
The two conservative parties expressed complaints about President Moon Jae-in's recent appointment of the environment minister without parliamentary consent.
They called on Moon last week to sack his senior aide for civil affairs for failing to properly vet him before the nomination.
They also denounced the DP's refusal to accept a parliamentary investigation into allegations that the Seoul subway operator under the city government gave unfair job favors to its employees' family members in what is being called "hereditary succession of jobs."
"If the DP does not seek to protect Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon and accepts our proposal for the probe, we are open to the ruling party's stance when it comes to the timing of the investigation," Kim Sung-tae, the floor leader of the LKP, said.
Source: Yonhap News Agency