[June 8] ROK 21st National Assembly opens its first parliamentary session and elects new Speaker
Photo: ROK NA. Newly elected Speaker Park Byeong-seug gets a congratulatory call from President Moon Jae-in
On June 5, South Korea’s newly elected 21st parliament held its first plenary session. During the event, Byeong-seug Park was voted as the new Speaker ROK National Assembly, replacing Hee-sang Moon.
During the plenary session, the ruling party’s Member Kim Jin-pyo took the role of a temporary chair and announced the opening of the new Assembly. Then, the session moved on to the election of the new Speaker. Out of 193 attending Members, Park Byeong-seug received 191 votes for. Then the Assembly moved on to vote on Kim Sang-hee as Deputy Speaker. Out of 188 Members, 185 voted for, thus electing the first woman Deputy in Korea's parliamentary history.
After the election, Speaker Park gave a speech to the Assembly, emphasizing communication and compromise as a key to developing parliamentarism in Korea. He noted that the Assembly should put efforts to communicate with the public to gain trust from the citizens. He also mentioned that all Members should communicate with each other for better unity.
Speaker Park started his political career in 1998, as a Senior Spokesperson of National Congress for New Politics, a short-lived political party from 1995 to 2000. Then, he was voted into the Assembly in 2000 and has secured a seat for six elections in a row. Out of all Members of the 21st Assembly, he served the longest term. Deputy Speaker Kim is a four-time elected Member, who started her political career since 2008. She is known to have dedicated herself to democratization, women rights, and environmental preservation for the last 30 years as a civil activist. The Assembly expects her presence in the political sphere as a deputy to be a stepping stone of expansion in women’s role within the parliament.
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