National Assembly fails to pass anti-clash bill
The outgoing National Assembly on Tuesday called off a final plenary session planned for the day, putting in doubt the fate of a much-touted bill aimed at preventing physical clashes in parliament.
The ruling Saenuri Party and the main opposition Democratic United Party had planned to hold a one-day plenary meeting to pass dozens of key bills before the National Assembly ends its term on May 29.
The rival parties canceled the planned session, however, after failing to narrow differences on details of the anti-clash bill aimed at promoting compromise and preventing physical scuffles in parliament.
The fate of about 60 other major bills was also thrown into uncertainty.
Unless the bills are handled before the Assembly's term expires, they will be automatically scrapped.
The rival parties left open the possibility of additional negotiations, but chances of convening a new plenary session do not appear high.
The disputed anti-clash bill calls for limiting the parliamentary speaker's authority to put a bill to a floor vote, an action which often in the past resulted in brawls between rival lawmakers over the passage of controversial bills.
It also stipulates that a consensus of three-fifths of the 300-seat National Assembly, or 181 seats, will be required to demand a fast track vote, or thwart filibuster by minor parties, instead of the current majority rule.
In Korea, lawmakers are often associated with negative images due in large part to widespread public perceptions that they do not compromise and are bent on partisan bickering that often involves shoving, pushing and other physical confrontation.(Yonhap)