First Meeting of Ruling and Opposition Parties to Discuss Policies: First on the Table, the Government Organization Act to Abolish the Gender Ministry

Jo Mun-hui 2022. 12. 1. 18:16
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People Power Party floor leader Joo Ho-young and Democratic Party of Korea floor leader Park Hong-keun hold up an agreement between the two parties on a parliamentary inspection of the Itaewon crowd crush in the National Assembly on November 23. Yonhap News

On December 1, the ruling and opposition parties will hold the first meeting of a consultative body on policies composed of three members from each party and begin discussing the Yoon Suk-yeol government’s government restructuring plan centered on the abolition of the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family.

The People Power Party (PPP) and the Democratic Party of Korea announced that they would kick off the 3+3 body for policy discussions in the National Assembly on Thursday. The heads of each party’s policy committee, the senior deputy floor leaders, and the secretaries in the parliamentary Public Administration and Security Committee will take part in the policy discussion group.

The agenda to be discussed include the amendment of the Government Organization Act, a key project promoted by the Yoon Suk-yeol government, and a bill to adjust the terms of public agency chiefs so they correspond with the presidential term. Sung Il-jong, head of the PPP policy committee, announced plans for the first meeting on November 29 and said, “The agenda will be the Government Organization Act and a bill to adjust the terms of public agency heads so that they correspond with the term of the president.” He also said, “We have decided to work together aiming to pass the bills in theplenary session by the end of this year.”

The amendment of the Government Organization Act mainly focuses on the disbandment of the gender ministry, President Yoon Suk-yeol’s campaign pledge. The amendment will transfer policies on gender, family, and adolescents as well as affairs promoting the rights and interests of women to the Ministry of Health and Welfare and newly establish a headquarters for gender equality, family and population. According to the revised bill, the government will newly install an office for overseas Koreans under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and elevate the Ministry of Patriots and Veterans Affairs, from its current sub-ministry-level status to an independent ministry.

The Democratic Party has officially announced that the party is opposed to the abolition of the gender ministry. As for the bill on the operation of public agencies, which will adjust the terms of public agency chiefs so that they correspond with the president’s term in office, the Democratic Party has different views with the ruling PPP on the scope of agencies included. Unlike the PPP, which insists that all chiefs be included, the Democratic Party wants to exclude chiefs of political positions with fixed terms, such as the head of the Korea Communications Commission and the Anti-Corruption and Civil Rights Commission.

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