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(LEAD) Main opposition party decides to boycott regular parliamentary session

2017/09/02 18:08

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(ATTN: UPDATES with more details, additional background)

SEOUL, Sept. 2 (Yonhap) -- The main opposition Liberty Korea Party (LKP) said Saturday that it will boycott the ongoing regular session of the National Assembly in opposition to what it claimed is a government attempt to control state-run media.

The decision was made at an emergency meeting of party lawmakers.

The former ruling party insisted the new liberal Moon Jae-in administration is seeking to control state-run broadcasters.

On Friday, the prosecution said it had obtained a court warrant to detain Kim Jang-kyom, the incumbent head of public broadcaster MBC, after he failed to answer three previous summons for questioning over suspected labor law violations.

Kim is accused by his own company's labor union of having used his influence to produce newscasts that were favorable to the ousted former leader Park Geun-hye and her administration.

LKP Chairman Hong Joon-pyo earlier called for an all-out struggle against the incumbent administration, accusing it of trying to take control of MBC and other public broadcasters so they will produce broadcasts that are favorable to the new president and his government.

The main opposition party's decision to boycott the parliamentary session also came only one day after the National Assembly convened its regular session that is partly aimed at reviewing and legislating the annual government bill on next year's spending.

The LKP controls 107 seats in the 300-seat unicameral parliament, while the ruling Democratic Party holds 120 seats.