SEOUL, June 24 (Yonhap) -- The main opposition Democratic Party (DP) agreed Friday to the ruling People Power Party taking over the chairmanship of the parliamentary judiciary committee, a major concession expected to speed up long-stalled negotiations on committee formations.
The PPP and the DP have been wrangling over which party should head which parliamentary committees, leaving the National Assembly idling for more than three weeks after the first half of the 21st National Assembly ended last month.
The two sides have been especially at loggerheads over the chairmanship of the parliamentary legislation and judiciary committee, a key Assembly panel that has the power to approve bills before they are put to a plenary vote.
"As agreed by the floor leaders of the two parties last year, we agree to the PPP taking the chairmanship of the legislation and judiciary committee," DP floor leader Park Hong-geun said. "In exchange, the PPP should also promise to carry out the two parties' agreement."
Park said the DP will wait until Monday morning for the PPP's answer.
Since its landslide victory in the 2020 parliamentary elections, the DP took both the speaker and the legislation committee chair posts, breaking the long tradition of dividing the posts with the main opposition party.
But as the move drew criticism of the DP dominating the legislative process, the party agreed with the PPP last year to hand over the legislative committee chair post in the second half of the National Assembly term.
Based on the deal, the PPP has been claiming that it should take the chairmanship. But the DP, which currently controls the National Assembly with 170 out of 299 seats, has been reluctant to hand over the post, saying the power of the legislation committee should be further reduced before the chairmanship goes to the PPP.