|Rep. Kim Je-nam of the minor opposition Justice Party delivers a filibuster speech on the contentious anti-terrorism bill while the seats of the ruling Saenuri Party lawmakers remain mostly vacant, during a plenary National Assembly session, Thursday. / Yonhap|
By Kim Hyo-jinFilibuster speeches by lawmakers of the main opposition Minjoo Party of Korea (MPK) became seeds for further inter-party conflict as lawmakers continued to stall the National Assembly plenary session Thursday for a third consecutive day in protest of a scheduled vote on the controversial anti-terrorism bill.The MPK pressured the ruling Saenuri Party to revise the bill in a way that would curtail the excessive powers provided in it for the National Intelligence Service (NIS), the country's spy agency.But the Saenuri Party refused to compromise and launched an all-out offensive against the opposition parties, mounting a placard rally denouncing the legislative deadlock caused by the filibusters.Criticism was fueled the day before the planned voting on another pending bill that redistricts constituency boundaries.The leaders of the rival parties Monday made a deal on the rules to redraw the electoral map just 50 days before the general election, and set a deadline to endorse the revised election bill by Feb. 26.In order to deal with the electoral map bill, the MPK should stop filibustering the session. But if it does so, the anti-terrorism bill will be automatically put for a vote and pass with the support of lawmakers from the Saenuri Party, which has 157 seats in the 300-seat Assembly.The MPK said it will negotiate with the Saenuri Party over the contentious bill."If the ruling party ensures certain measures to monitor possible NIS' abuses of power and violations of human rights, we can cooperate on the passage of the bill," Rep. Rhee Mok-hee, the party's chief policymaker, told reporters. "Two trains running towards each other can't avoid a clash even if one of them stops."Rhee made a push with the Saenuri Party to accept the Assembly Speaker's mediation on suggesting restrictions be included in the bill on the spy agency's surveillance of citizens' private communications.The bill devised by the ruling party in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, is intended to set up a counterterrorism control tower under the authority of the NIS and allow the agency to conduct surveillance of private communications of people deemed to be potential terrorists and track their whereabouts and financial transactions.The MPK has been in strong opposition to the bill that increases the powers of the spy agency, which was previously found to have engaged in illegal activities. In the 2012 presidential election, its agents were found to have launched a smear campaign against opposition candidates online, in favor of then presidential candidate Park Geun-hye. And last year, it was accused of using an illegal hacking program that can access private computers and mobile devices.Parties revised the bill by agreeing to put the counterterrorism control tower under the Prime Minister's Office and assign an official to the NIS to oversee its activities, but the MPK is still concerned about the agency's possible unlimited surveillance of citizens.The Saenuri Party, for its part, put its foot down on the revised draft of the bill, saying it cannot give way to the MPK anymore in order to guarantee the agency the effective tools to undertake counterterrorist action."The MPK paralyzed the Assembly while holding the upcoming election and people's safety as hostages for its own interest," Rep. Cho Won-jin said. "It's stuck in a self-contradiction while postponing the election bill it has pushed for in a hurry."
'국회 법제실에서 몇가지 아이디어 내서 여야에 전달'
정의화 국회의장은 25일 야당이 테러방지법에 대한 '무제한 토론'(필리버스터)으로 의사일정 진행을 저지하고 있는 상황에 대해 '내일(26일) 오전 중으로 다 끝나기를 기도하고 있다'고 말했다.
오는 26일은 새누리당 김무성·더불어민주당 김종인 대표가 본회의를 열어 선거구 획정안이 담긴 공직선거법 개정안을 처리키로 합의한 날짜다.
정 의장은 이날 오후 점심식사 후 국회로 들어오는 길에 기자들과 만나 필리버스터가 사흘째 진행되는 상황에 대한 입장을 묻자 '지금처럼 이런 식으로 (필리버스터를) 해서는 조금 육체적으로 낭비적이라는 문제도 있는 것 같다'면서 이같이 답했다.
그러나 정 의장은 '많은 것을 배우고, 많은 것을 느끼고 (있다)'면서 '선진 의회 민주주의 국가로 발전하는 데는 좋은 경험이 되지 않나 생각한다'고 말했다.
이어 '(테러방지법에 대한) 반대쪽에서 생각하는 의견도 전달하고, 그렇게 해서 우리나라의 의견들을 하나로 합쳐가는 그런 좋은 계기가 될 수 있겠다는 생각도 든다'고 밝혔다.
정 의장은 테러방지법 관련 중재안을 야당에 제시했느냐는 질문에는 '국회 법제실에서 몇 가지 아이디어를 내서 전달했다. 국민의당도 아이디어를 내고, 그래서 그런 것을 가지고 양당 교섭단체 대표들이 논의하고 있을 것'이라 말했다.
이와 관련 정 의장 측은 연합뉴스와의 통화에서 '정 의장이 중재안(법안)을 따로 발의한 것은 없으며 정 의장이 양당에 전달한 건 일종의 의견서'라면서 '테러방지법 문제는 이제 여야가 책임지고 합의로 풀어야 한다'고 강조했다. (연합뉴스)