Record-Setting Filibuster Ends —After 9 Days

Or 192 hours and 25 minutes to be exact
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 3, 2016 7:07 AM CST
Rep. Jung Cheong Rae got to speak to a packed house.   (Kim Hyun-tae/Yonhap via AP)
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(Newser) – Think Wendy Davis' 10-hour filibuster was impressive? That was nothing compared to what dozens of lawmakers in South Korea just accomplished in the country's first filibuster in 47 years. For 192 hours and 25 minutes—or almost nine days—beginning Feb. 23, opposition Members of Parliament rambled on in an attempt to block an anti-terror bill proposed by a member of the governing party, report the BBC and Korea Times. The goal was to get to the end of the parliamentary session on March 10, but the filibuster came to a close Wednesday after attacks by the country's leaders. The bill passed hours later. At least the lawmakers still have something to show for their efforts: They smashed the world record for filibustering set in 2011 when Canadian lawmakers delayed proceedings for 57 hours.

The last speaker alone spoke for 12 hours and 31 minutes to claim the record for longest individual filibuster in South Korea. Speakers wore running shoes, thumbed through huge stacks of documents, read academic articles and online comments on privacy infringement in their entirety, and recited sections of George Orwell's 1984, per Yonhap News. It was unsurprising, then, that the parliament chair was caught sleeping. The lawmakers argued the anti-terror bill—allowing for the collection of data, including phone records, on people considered security risks—would violate privacy rights, but President Park Geun-hye said the filibuster was "nothing more than a dereliction of duty." The public was also peeved that the stunt held up bills regarding North Korean human rights and an upcoming election. (Read more South Korea stories.)

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