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National Assembly misses legal deadline to pass gov't budget bill

14:57 December 02, 2022

SEOUL, Dec. 2 (Yonhap) -- The National Assembly missed the legal deadline Friday to handle the government's budget proposal for next year, as rival parties refused to budge in their standoff over the budget plan and a dismissal motion against the interior minister over the deadly crowd crush in Seoul.

Friday is the legal deadline for lawmakers to pass the first annual budget plan drawn up by the Yoon Suk-yeol administration since it came to power in May.

"The legal deadline to handle the budget plan as indicated in the Constitution was today, but we could not complete the review of next year's national budget," Speaker Kim Jin-pyo said in a statement.

"I plan to hold the plenary session on Dec. 8 and 9 to fulfill the assembly's authority and responsibility," Kim said, stressing that a swift handling of the national budget should be the parliament's "top priority" in the wake of sluggish exports and a global economic slowdown.

Dec. 9 is the last day of the parliamentary regular session that kicked off in September.

The ruling People Power Party (PPP) and the main opposition Democratic Party (DP) have locked horns over follow-up measures to the deadly crowd crush in Seoul's entertainment district of Itaewon on Oct. 29.

The DP called for a parliamentary probe into the case and urged Yoon to fire Interior and Safety Minister Lee Sang-min to hold him responsible for the government's bungled response to the tragedy that killed 158 people.

On Wednesday, the party put forth a dismissal motion against the interior minister with an aim to handle it this week and threatened to push for an impeachment motion should Yoon continue to snub the calls.

The PPP, which had insisted that ongoing police investigations should come ahead of the parliamentary probe, recently agreed to take part in the investigation on the condition that next year's budget plan is handled.

The presidential office and the ruling party bristled at the DP's decision to pursue the dismissal motion, hinting that it could boycott the parliamentary probe in the case the DP attempts to steamroll the motion with its majority in parliament.

National Assembly Speaker Kim Jin-pyo (R) enters his office at the National Assembly on Dec. 2, 2022. (Yonhap)

mlee@yna.co.kr
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