Last Chance to Pre-order the Atlas Obscura Book and Receive a Free Enamel Pin!
Mini book a30976e9da7a24921cf3be4abf80181ccad21053999e5b9c9eff280eeaa1806b

World's Longest Filibuster Ends After 192 Hours of Orwell and Internet Comments

South Korea has nabbed the record from Canada.

South Korean President Park Geun-hye. (Photo: Jeon Han/CC BY-SA 2.0)

A legislative filibuster lasting 192 hours, a new world record, has ended in South Korea, likely allowing the passage of a law that opposition leaders said would intrude on individual privacy.

The filibuster began over a week ago, on February 23rd, and was led by South Korea’s main opposition party, Minjoo, according to the BBC. One legislator spoke for over 11 hours, while others were seen dozing off during the filibuster, which was intended to last until March 10th, when the legislative term was set to end.

But lawmakers gave up Wednesday and ended the filibuster, fearing the public would blame them for holding up other legislation.

This was the longest filibuster by a wide margin. In 2011, Canadian lawmakers held forth for 58 hours, believed to be the previous world record. 

The filibuster was intended to block legislation that would grant the government new surveillance powers over anyone it deems a security risk, the BBC said. That legislation is being championed by the conservative ruling party Saenuri and President Park Geun-hye.

Lawmakers resorted to a number of tactics during the course of the 9-day delay, including reading George Orwell’s 1984, lengthy academic articles, and, perhaps worse, internet comments, the BBC said. Water consumption was also curtailed to cut down on bathroom breaks, and some lawmakers were seen wearing sneakers.

Park called the delay “nothing more than a dereliction of duty,” though voters will soon be able to decide for themselves. Parliamentary elections will be held next month.