Political deadlock stalls US$ 9.7 bil. supplementary budget plan

South Korean lawmakers are locking horns again…
over the government’s multi-billion dollar supplementary budget plan… that was slated
to be put up for a vote on Monday. Park Ji-won has the latest from the National
Assembly. The ruling Saenuri Party urged the opposition
parties… to abide by an earlier agreement and approve the supplementary budget plan,
worth nine-point-seven billion U.S. dollars,… to revive the economy. “As the floor leader of the ruling party,… I am so sorry that we’ve failed to pass the
budget. All the responsibility for the failure lies
with the opposition bloc,… which broke the previous agreement.” Earlier in the month,… the three main political
parties agreed to pass the budget bill first, and then hold two parliamentary hearings on
the nation’s fiscal policy. But they clashed over who to summon to the
hearings… and the parliament fell into a deadlock. The opposition parties say… they cannot
approve the budget plan… unless the Saenuri Party agrees to summon key economic policymakers
as witnesses at the hearings. Their list includes former Finance Minister
Choi Kyung-hwan, current Senior Presidential Secretary for Policy Coordination Ahn Jong-beom,…
and Hong Ky-ttack, the former chairman of the state-run Korea Development Bank. Last October,… they allegedly held a secret
meeting at the presidential office… and decided to spend some 3-point-8 billion dollars
in state funds… to prop up one of the countries largest shipbuilders,… the already ailing
Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering. The Saenuri Party said it cannot agree to
the witness list,… while the main opposition Minjoo Party of
Korea accused the ruling party of protecting its own, which it said will only result in
a failure of governance. “It’s completely lamentable to see the ruling
party,… which is senselessly unyielding and only protecting their own people. To resolve this deadlock, the president needs
to open her mind and the ruling party needs to show they’re willing to negotiate.” “As the negotiations between the deputy floor
leaders of the three parties continue,… the minor opposition People’s Party urged
the other two… to exercise some degree of flexibility in their discussions. It also proposed summoning relevant economic
policymakers to the upcoming hearings, but not all three of the officials in question. Park Ji-won, Arirang News.”

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