Published : 2013-03-02 15:03
Updated : 2013-03-02 15:14
President Park Geun-hye proposed a meeting with leaders of rival parties this week to urge them to quickly pass her government reorganization bill, her spokesman said Saturday.
Park will "invite Hwang Woo-yea, the chief of the Saenuri Party, and the party's floor leader Lee Hahn-koo; Moon Hee-sang, the chief of the Democratic United Party; and the party's floor leader Park Ki-choon to Cheong Wa Dae at 2 p.m. Sunday and discuss the government reorganization bill," presidential spokesman Yoon Chang-jung told reporters.
It would be Park's first meeting with political leaders at Cheong Wa Dae since she took office on Feb. 25.
Park, during the meeting, is expected to explain in detail about the purpose of the government reorganization bill and ask for the parties' cooperation in passing the bill for smooth management of state affairs. The ongoing extraordinary parliamentary session is due to close on Tuesday.
The ruling Saenuri Party introduced the reorganization proposal, which calls for creating new government offices and reorganizing duties among existing offices, to parliament for approval late last month, but negotiations with the opposition DUP have failed to produce a compromise.
The deadlock, coupled with the still ongoing parliamentary confirmation process for Park's Cabinet nominations, forced her to take office without a new Cabinet earlier this week. Park also skipped a weekly Cabinet meeting that would have marked her first since taking office.
Earlier on Friday, Park called for lawmakers' early approval of the bill during a casual meeting with the parliamentary speaker and leaders of rival parties on the sidelines of a national ceremony to mark the March 1st Independence Movement anniversary.
"We hope the government reorganization bill will be dealt in the extraordinary session set to end on March 5," Park's spokeswoman Kim Haing told reporters that day. "Please help the new government start work."
The DUP, meanwhile, expressed discomfort towards what they called Park's attempt to pressure the opposition.
"The president asking to meet up in the midst of on-going negotiation between the two parties can be a way of pressuring (us)," DUP floor leader Park Ki-choon told Yonhap News.
DUP's floor spokesman Yoon Kwan-seok said, "The president appears to be viewing the National Assembly as some sort of a rubber-stamp parliament, notifying the deadline for the opposition party over the government plan as if she is ordering military operations."
From news reports