Discord in parliament delays launch of Park government
Published : 2013-02-24 19:59
Updated : 2013-02-24 19:59
The ruling Saenuri Party and the Democratic United Party continued to wrangle over President Park Geun-hye’s government reorganization plans on Sunday, the day before the presidential inauguration.
With the two sides failing to reach an agreement, Park becomes the first president to be sworn in before receiving parliamentary approval for government reorganization.
Despite last minute efforts, parties stumbled on the matter of which body would be put in charge of broadcasting-related issues.
The Saenuri Party is of the position that related matters should be handled by the new Science Ministry, while the DUP is calling for the Korea Communications Commission to be put in charge to ensure unbiased policies.
“(Transferring related functions to the science ministry) will affect fairness of broadcasts, and that (broadcasting companies’) independence should not be damaged, we cannot compromise,” DUP floor leader Park Ki-choon said Sunday, saying that his party had yielded on a number of issues.
For its part, the Saenuri Party suggested transferring the KCC’s broadcasting-related duties concerning non-news programs to the science ministry, saying that complete separation of telecommunication- and broadcasting-related functions was “moving against the times.”
“If the opposition party allows the ministry of future creation and science ministry to oversee non-news broadcasting- and communication-issues together, (the Saenuri Party) will raise the KCC’s status to that of a central administrative body,” Saenuri Party leader Hwang Woo-yea said.
With the approval for the revised Government Organization Act still pending, the Cabinet will continue to be filled by the ministers who served under former President Lee Myung-bak.
Under Park’s government reorganization plans, the Ministry of Future, Creation and Science and the Ministry of Maritime Affairs will be newly established.
The trade-related functions of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade will be transferred to the new Ministry of Industry, Trade and Resources. In addition, the Ministry of Strategy and Finance will be headed by the deputy prime minister for economy. The parties’ disagreement over the Government Organization Act and related issues has also led to delays in the crucial parliamentary confirmation hearing for ministerial nominees.
The hearings for the nominees for ministries newly established or reorganized under the Park Geun-hye administration have yet to be scheduled as their positions do not legally exist until the Government Organization Act is approved by the National Assembly.
The ministries affected are the Ministry of Strategy and Finance, Ministry of Industry, Trade and Resources, Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, and the new Science Ministry.
In addition, with ministerial confirmation hearing process taking about 20 days, it will be some time until the nominees for existing ministries can take office.
The hearings for nominees for ministries unaffected by the planned changes will begin on Wednesday.