Parties wrangle over parliamentary probe into justice minister

Sep 20, 2019, 08:37 am

print page small font big font

facebook share

tweet share

The floor leaders of major political parties – Lee In-young (left) of the ruling Democratic Party, Na Kyung-won of the main opposition Liberty Korea Party and Oh Shin-hwan of the minor opposition Bareunmirae Party/ Source: Yonhap

By AsiaToday reporter Lim Yoo-jin

South Korea’s ruling and opposition parties clashed head-on over parliamentary probe into Justice Minister Cho Kuk on Thursday. The political confrontation between the rival parties intensified further as the main opposition Liberty Korea Party (LKP) and minor opposition Bareunmirae Party (BMP) submitted a proposal to launch a parliamentary probe into Cho on Wednesday.

The ruling Democratic Party (DP) rebuffed the demand of the opposition parties for a parliamentary probe. The DP firmly asserted that the demand for a parliamentary investigation does not meet legal requirements and that it cannot accept a parliamentary probe aimed at intensifying political wrangling. 

“The demand for a parliamentary probe is very unreasonable,” DP floor leader Lee In-young said. “The rule is that a parliamentary investigation should not be conducted for the purpose of engaging in prosecution of a case under investigation, and the demand for a parliamentary probe does not meet legal requirements.”

“There is absolutely no correlation between state affairs and the justice minister’s family issues before his appointment,” Lee said. “(The opposition parties) should stop making a political issue of the justice minister to intensify political wrangling.”

The DP urged the opposition parties to cooperate so that the National Assembly functions properly during this month’s regular parliamentary session in order to improve citizens’ livelihoods. In particular, the ruling party said the National Assembly should support legislative measures in order to address the challenges facing at home and abroad, such as the outbreak of African swine fever and Japan’s economic retaliation.

In particular, DP’s Special Committee on National Assembly Innovation and Influential Members Group embarked on preparing a revised bill to force operation of the National Assembly. The move is aimed at blocking the opposition parties’ parliamentary boycott.

On the other hand, the LKP and BMP pressed the ruling party to accept the parliamentary probe, saying that it was the DP that shunned calls to improve people’s livelihoods. Besides, the LKP revealed its plan to file a court injunction to suspend Cho from official duty. 

“We couldn’t just wait to expel Cho Kuk, so we will review to file a court injunction to suspend Cho from official duty,” LKP floor leader Na Kyung-won said. “The prosecution is finally heading to Cho himself and it is right for the president to dismiss Cho before the National Assembly talks about dismissal,” she said. 

Five more LKP lawmakers shaved their heads on Thursday in protest of the government’s appointment of Cho Kuk as the new justice minister. The party also staged a candlelight rally urging for Cho’s dismissal at Gwanghwamun in Seoul. 

#parliamentary probe #Cho Kuk 
Copyright by Asiatoday