Ri­val par­ties re­fer each other to ethics body for probe

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

The po­lit­i­cal par­ties con­tinue to re­fer mem­bers of their ri­vals to the Na­tional As­sem­bly’s Ethics Com­mit­tee, urg­ing it to im­pose penal­ties for defam­a­tory re­marks made dur­ing au­dits. But crit­ics say the move will not work be­cause the com­mit­tee is not func­tion­ing nor­mally.

The rul­ing Demo­cratic Party of Korea (DPK) re­ferred Reps. Yeo Sang-kyoo and Kim Se­ung-hee of the main op­po­si­tion Lib­erty Korea Party (LKP) to the As­sem­bly ethics com­mit­tee re­cently for swear­ing at col­leagues and al­legedly mak­ing defam­a­tory re­marks about Pres­i­dent Moon Jae-in dur­ing au­dit ses­sions.

DPK spokes­woman Rep. Jung Choun-sook said Yeo, chair­man of the Leg­is­la­tion and Ju­di­ciary Com­mit­tee, pres­sured the prose­cu­tion when he said Song Samhyun, chief of the Seoul South­ern District Pros­e­cu­tors’ Of­fice, should back off from the fast-track pro­ce­dural is­sue.

Jung said Yeo swore at his ri­val law­mak­ers, call­ing them “crip­ples.” She also said the LKP’s Kim de­famed Pres­i­dent Moon Jae-in by say­ing “[Moon’s] am­ne­sia can be a sign of early de­men­tia.”

The LKP im­me­di­ately crit­i­cized the DPK’s move, claim­ing it was to si­lence the LKP through the com­mit­tee.

The LKP’s Kim also de­cided to re­fer Reps. Ki Dong-min to the ethics com­mit­tee for mak­ing in­sult­ing re­marks against her dur­ing a ses­sion.

How­ever, doubts are ris­ing over the body’s ef­fec­tive­ness as it is largely ex­pected that both will end up not be­ing pun­ished as the com­mit­tee is not func­tion­ing.

Not a sin­gle law­maker has been pe­nal­ized by the com­mit­tee since the be­gin­ning of the cur­rent As­sem­bly ses­sion.

Nearly 50 re­quests have been sub­mit­ted to the panel call­ing for the pun­ish­ment of law­mak­ers.

“Since the break­down of the com­mit­tee in June, po­lit­i­cal par­ties failed to form its body, in­clud­ing the ap­point­ment of its chair, due to a power game try­ing to take its lead­er­ship,” one DPK of­fi­cial said.

“Peo­ple say the panel was made not to pun­ish law­mak­ers but to show off that they are tak­ing some po­lit­i­cal ac­tion against ri­val par­ties af­ter some­what be­ing of­fended. As you can see, no one has been pun­ished so far dur­ing the As­sem­bly ses­sion.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Korea, Republic

© PressReader. All rights reserved.