<Political standoff deepens over dismissal motion>

Ruling party to file complaint against Assembly speaker

By Kim Hyo-jin

Rival political parties are facing a deepening political standoff over the passing of an opposition initiated no-confidence vote on the agriculture minister.

President Park Geun-hye added fuel to the confrontation by rejecting the call for dismissal ― an unheard of move ever since Korea was established in 1948.

The National Assembly is scheduled to launch its first audit of government ministries and agencies today, but it remains to be seen if these will get off to a good start amid no signs of rapprochement.

The opposition Minjoo Party of Korea (MPK) and the People's Party endorsed the no-confidence motion on Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Minister Kim Jae-soo over his alleged ethical lapses. The ruling Saenuri Party lawmakers were absent in protest, and have vowed to boycott parliamentary procedures.

The Saenuri Party called on the opposition parties to offer a public apology for unilaterally voting on the motion. It also demanded that National Assembly Speaker Chung Sye-kyun step down to take responsibility for allegedly breaching his political neutrality by siding with the opposition.

The party also plans to request the prosecution to file criminal charges against Chung for alleged abuse of power as he skipped the due procedure of seeking the ruling party's consent before putting the motion up for a vote as stated in the National Assembly Law, officials said.

"There will be no National Assembly sessions until we check the tyranny of the majority opposition and the speaker," said Saenuri Party Chairman Lee Jung-hyun.

Cheong Wa Dae said it will not accept the motion as it was passed without due regard for Kim's capacity as a minister.


sagriculture: 농업

standoff: 교착 상태

unheard of: 전대미문

rapproachement: 화해

unilaterally: 일방적으로

consent: 만장일치

prosecution: 기소, 고발