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(LEAD) Main opposition party set to end parliamentary boycott

2017/09/09 21:32

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(ATTN: ADDS more details in last 3 paras)

SEOUL, Sept. 9 (Yonhap) -- The main opposition Liberty Korea Party (LKP) is expected to lift its boycott of the ongoing regular session of the National Assembly next week, the party's spokesman said Saturday.

Since Saturday, the LKP has been boycotting all legislative sessions, except security-related ones, arguing the government is attempting to control state-run media.

Last Friday, the prosecution 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.

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

"We decided to end our boycott (of the regular parliamentary session) from Monday," Rep. Kang Hyo-sang, spokesman for the conservative LKP, said in a briefing. "But the decision will be finally approved at a plenary meeting of our legislators."

   The former ruling party has 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 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.

Meanwhile, the ruling Democratic Party welcomed the opposition party's return, urging it to cooperate on key pending issues.

The National Assembly is expected to set up a vote on the disputed Constitutional Court Chief nominee on Monday, but the main opposition party opposed the vote with the splinter Bareun Party following suit.

Also, the parliament will hold a two-day hearing on the minister nominee for small and medium-sized enterprises and startups as well.