Op­po­si­tion par­ties want thor­ough probe of Cho

The Korea Times - - NATIONAL - By Park Ji-won jw­[email protected]­re­atimes.co.kr

The main op­po­si­tion Lib­erty Korea Party (LKP) is plan­ning to team up with mi­nor op­po­si­tion par­ties to sub­mit a re­quest for a spe­cial prose­cu­tor and the launch of a par­lia­men­tary au­dit over the al­leged mis­con­duct of Jus­tice Min­is­ter Cho Kuk, political sources said Tues­day.

“The LKP and mi­nor op­po­si­tion Bare­un­mi­rae Party (BMP) are con­sid­er­ing launch­ing a par­lia­men­tary probe and ap­point­ing a spe­cial coun­sel to in­ves­ti­gate the var­i­ous al­le­ga­tions in­volv­ing Cho and his fam­ily,” said an LKP mem­ber.

A Seoul Na­tional Univer­sity law pro­fes­sor Cho Kuk started work as the jus­tice min­is­ter af­ter be­ing ap­pointed by Pres­i­dent Moon Jaein, Mon­day, de­spite doubts over his qual­i­fi­ca­tions post given the var­i­ous crim­i­nal al­le­ga­tions made against his wife.

The Pres­i­dent said pub­licly that the ap­point­ment was aimed at re­form­ing the prose­cu­tion, but the op­po­si­tion par­ties ex­pressed dis­agree­ment, call­ing for Moon to re­scind the ap­point­ment.

LKP Chair­man Hwang Kyo-ahn asked BMP Chair­man Sohn Hakkyu to form an al­liance to push for the dis­missal of Cho.

Sohn re­port­edly said he will dis­cuss it with his party mem­bers, an­other source added with­out elab­o­rat­ing.

The rul­ing Demo­cratic Party of Korea (DPK) crit­i­cized the op­po­si­tion par­ties’ moves to launch an investigat­ion of the jus­tice min­is­ter call­ing it a “political at­tack.”

“It’s less than one day since the ap­point­ment. It is too early to eval­u­ate Cho and file a dis­missal mo­tion,” DPK floor leader Lee In-young said dur­ing a party meet­ing. “The ma­neu­ver is a political at­tack as they are vent­ing their anger.”

The jus­tice min­is­ter and his wife are sus­pected of abus­ing their power to help their daughter get the cre­den­tials nec­es­sary to en­sure ad­mis­sion to a pres­ti­gious univer­sity.

The prose­cu­tion has been ex­pand­ing its probe into the al­le­ga­tions sur­round­ing Cho, raid­ing of­fices and houses of his fam­ily mem­bers.

The political fight will con­tinue, ob­servers said, adding the ap­point­ment would de­lay the nor­mal­iza­tion of par­lia­men­tary ac­tiv­i­ties in­clud­ing ses­sions at the up­com­ing au­dit of min­istries ad n gov­ern­ment agen­cies.

The LKP and the BMP be­gan a street protest in an at­tempt to force the min­is­ter to re­sign. The LKP held a demon­stra­tion in Seoul, while the BMP held a party meet­ing in front of Cheong Wa Dae.


Lee Un-ju, an in­de­pen­dent law­maker, shaves her head at the Na­tional Assem­bly, Tues­day, in a sym­bolic protest call­ing for the with­drawal of the ap­point­ment of Cho Kuk as jus­tice min­is­ter.

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