Rival camps set to clash over contentious bills

Jul 01, 2024, 04:36 am

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AsiaToday reporters Park Ji-eun & Park Young-hoon

Rival parties are expected to clash in the coming weeks, as the opposition parties are mulling reintroducing contentious bills, such as bills on Marine death probe, media boardrooms, and KCC chief impeachment.

According to the party leader of the ruling and opposition parties on Sunday, National Assembly Speaker Rep. Woo Won-shik is coordinating the schedule of the plenary session to deal with the contentious bills this week.

The main opposition Democratic Party (DP) and other opposition parties plan to railroad several contentious bills during the June extraordinary session that runs until July 4, including the one that mandates a special counsel probe of the Yoon administration’s alleged interference in a Marine Corp’s internal investigation following the death of a young Marine during a rescue operation last summer. They also plan to reintroduce media bills aimed at undermining the government’s influence over naming boardroom directors to control terrestrial TV networks, and at the same time weakening the Korea Communications Commission (KCC) chief’s decision-making power over broadcasting service-related policies.   

The DP is determined to push for an independent counsel probe into the Corporal Chae’s death case, claiming that President Yoon Suk-yeol and even his wife Kim Keon-hee’s involvement is becoming clear. 

They submitted a request for a parliamentary investigation to the National Assembly on June 18, keeping in mind the possibility that Yoon could exercise his right to request reconsideration, so that a parliamentary investigation could be carried out even if the independent counsel request is rejected.

The DP is also pushing for the media bills and the impeachment of KCC chief Kim Hong-il. It aims to remove Kim before the term of office of the Foundation for Broadcasting Culture (FBC), the major shareholder of MBC, ends on August 12. 

The threshold for recommending the impeachment of public officials is a majority vote of present members, so the DP’s 171 seats alone would suffice.

The ruling People Power Party (PPP) plans to propose the president to exercise his veto power if the contentious DP-led bills are passed at the plenary session. They have maintained the position that that the special prosecution should be introduced if the results of investigations by the police and the Anti-Corruption and Civil Rights Commission are insufficient.

Many in the political circle say that it is up to Woo to decide whether such contentious bills will be dealt with at the final plenary session of the June extraordinary session. 

If Speaker Woo demands bipartisan agreement on the bills, they will have to be passed to the National Assembly in July. However, chances are high that Woo will accept the DP’s will, as these bills have already been proposed by the 21st National Assembly.

#DP #PPP #Marine death #media boardrooms #KCC chief impeachment 
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