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(LEAD) Parliamentary speaker urges Moon to respect confirmation hearing

2017/06/19 13:04

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(ATTN: ADDS more info in paras 10-11)

SEOUL, June 19 (Yonhap) -- The parliamentary speaker on Monday cautioned the presidential office not to play down the significance of confirmation hearings for Cabinet nominees even though the legislature's consent is not a requisite to their appointments.

Amid a deepening standoff over President Moon Jae-in's nominees, Speaker Chung Sye-kyun also urged opposition parties to separate the appointment issues from other legislative affairs on policies.

Last week, a presidential official said that the president is not bound by the results of the parliamentary hearings, though he may take them into consideration.

"It is desirable that the confirmation hearing is conducted according to the National Assembly Act, parties' opinions are conveyed in the procedural framework, and the appointer respects (the results)," Chung said during a meeting with the floor leaders of the ruling and opposition parties.

"The Assembly's hearings should not be merely for reference," he added.

On Sunday, Moon pressed ahead with the appointment of Kang Kyung-wha as foreign minister, although the legislature refused to adopt a report on the outcome of her hearing amid a controversy over her alleged ethical lapses.

Opposition parties criticized Moon, saying that he has little intention of promoting what he has called "cooperative governance," a political parlance referring to his efforts to foster cooperation with an opposition-led parliament.

Chung also used the meeting to urge the parties to not take policy issues hostage to the nomination battle.

A series of bills, including those on government reorganization and an extra budget, have been left unattended amid a political standoff over Moon's personnel choices.

During the floor leaders' meeting, they agreed to pass a resolution calling for the reunions of families separated across the inter-Korean border, during a parliamentary plenary session slated for Thursday.

The reunions have not been held since October 2015 due to heightened tensions caused by Pyongyang's unceasing provocations, including two nuclear tests last year.

National Assembly Speaker Chung Sye-kyun (C) and the floor leaders of the major parties hold hands together before their regular meeting at the legislature in Seoul on June 19, 2017. (Yonhap) National Assembly Speaker Chung Sye-kyun (C) and the floor leaders of the major parties hold hands together before their regular meeting at the legislature in Seoul on June 19, 2017. (Yonhap)

sshluck@yna.co.kr

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