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Ruling party chief vows to fund election promises without raising taxes

SEOUL, Oct. 7 (Yonhap) -- The chief of the ruling Saenuri Party vowed Monday to help fulfill the government's election pledges without raising taxes, saying the most pressing task is to revive the slumping economy. Rep. Hwang Woo-yea made the remarks as he addressed the National Assembly in a speech marking the start of the current parliamentary session. The 100-day session officially kicked off early last month, but rival parties could not agreed on a schedule for parliamentary proceedings until weeks later due to a dispute over various contentious issues.

Rival parties clash over pension plan, top prosecutor scandal

SEOUL, Oct. 1 (Yonhap) -- Rival political parties clashed Tuesday as they questioned key government officials over a controversial pension program and allegations that the top prosecutor had fathered an illegitimate son. The two issues have been the focus of public and media attention in recent weeks, leading to a heated debate between the ruling Saenuri Party and the main opposition Democratic Party (DP).

Parliament normalizes amid wrangling over pension program

SEOUL, Sept. 30 (Yonhap) -- The National Assembly convened a plenary session Monday in a long-delayed start to the current parliamentary session as rival parties wrangled over the government's plan to scale back its pension program for senior citizens. The plenary meeting came nearly a month behind schedule due to a growing bipartisan row over allegations that the state intelligence agency meddled in last year's presidential election.

Welfare minister offers to resign over scaled-back pension plan

SEOUL, Sept. 27 (Yonhap) -- Health and Welfare Minister Chin Young offered his resignation on Friday, holding himself responsible for the government's scaled-back pension plan for senior citizens. Chin, a former ruling party lawmaker, is known as a key planner of President Park Geun-hye's welfare policies and pledges unveiled during her presidential campaign last year. "I would like to resign because I feel responsible," Chin said in an emailed statement to reporters.

India says tainted MPs can stay on in defiance of top court

India's cabinet passed an order Tuesday to undo a Supreme Court ruling that stipulated convicted lawmakers cannot hold elected office in parliament or in state legislatures, the Press Trust of India reported. The cabinet issued an ordinance to prevent disqualification of lawmakers convicted in criminal cases carrying jail terms of at least two years, the national news agency reported, quoting unnamed sources.

Assembly set to vote on arrest of leftist lawmaker

SEOUL, Sept. 4 (Yonhap) -- The National Assembly prepared to vote Wednesday on the arrest of a leftist lawmaker accused of plotting to overthrow the government. Rep. Lee Seok-ki of the minor opposition Unified Progressive Party (UPP) faces allegations of leading a secret organization with suspected links to North Korea. The so-called Revolutionary Organization allegedly devised plans to destroy key infrastructure facilities in the South in the event of an inter-Korean war, including communication lines and railways.

Parliament to handle arrest request for Rep. Lee Seok-ki next week

SEOUL, Aug. 31 (Yonhap) -- The National Assembly is expected to handle the court's request next week to arrest Rep. Lee Seok-ki, who is accused of conspiring to start a rebellion, insiders said Saturday.

India parliament passes new land-acquisition law

India's parliament on Thursday passed a key bill to better reward landowners whose property is sought for industrial use, in a bid to reduce protests which have delayed major projects. The lower house approved the bill, intended to replace a 119-year-old law framed by India's former British colonial rulers, after a marathon debate. In the house, 216 of 235 MPs present voted for the law while 19 members opposed the motion, parliament officials said.

Iraq court clears path for Maliki third term as PM

Iraq's highest court on Monday overturned controversial term limits on senior posts, clearing the way for Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki to chase a third term in elections next year. The decision, confirmed by multiple MPs and officials, comes with parliament considering a new election law ahead of legislative polls due to be held in April, Iraq's first general election since 2010.

Egypt to hold parliamentary vote in about six months

CAIRO (Reuters) - Egypt will hold new parliamentary elections once amendments to its suspended constitution are approved in a referendum, the interim head of state decreed on Monday, setting out a timeframe that could see a legislative vote in about six months. A presidential election would be called once the new legislative chamber convenes, the decree said. It set a four-and-a-half month timeframe for amendments to the country's controversial, Islamist-tinged constitution that was passed into law in December.
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