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New Justice Minister’s Speech Draft Creates a Stir

Posted May. 22, 2001 07:50,   


The Grand National Party (GNP) yesterday demanded the resignation of new Justice Minister Ahn Dong-Su, questioning his qualification as new justice minister, as the new Minister Ahn used an inappropriate expression in the draft of his inaugural speech. Minister Ahn stated in his speech draft that ``I will devote my life to help the Kim Dae-Jung administration to take over the power again.``

GNP spokesperson Kwon Chul-Hyun said in a statement, ``Minister Ahn’s statement is an official declaration of allegiance with the current government by all means.`` Kwon called for the immediate resignation of Ahn, saying that ``As long as Ahn governs the Ministry of Justice, fair performance of law will not be possible.``

Kwon Chul-Hyun also stated at the party’s high-ranking officials’ meeting that ``Ahn’s statement is unacceptable since he, as Minister of Justice, is supposed to establish the judicial justice.`` Kwon added that GNP would go forward demanding an explanation of Ahn’s speech note and passing a bill on parliamentary hearings for prosecutor general through a special National Assembly session in June.

In response to the opposition party`s reaction, Jun Yong-Hak, spokesperson of the ruling Millennium Democratic Party (MDP), said ``It was irresponsible and politically offensive for the opposition party to take issue with the draft which Minister Ahn did not draw up by himself. The opposition party should evaluate Minister Ahn through his performance in duty.``

Meanwhile, officials from Ministry of Justice and the Prosecutor-General Office discussed the issue, but did not frame any course on this matter. An official of Ministry of Justice explained the situation by saying, ``The first page of the draft, which created a stir, was written by lawyer Lee, and Minister Ahn wrote the second page.`` A female clerk in Ahn’s law firm reversed her earlier statement, by saying that ``I put the first page into Minister Ahn’s computer, which was written by lawyer Lee.``

However, a leading prosecutor said, ``Minister Ahn’s nomination was problematic from the beginning. Every group has its own rule and idea of right person for the group. The controversy over Minister Ahn’s speech draft was created in the midst of an unreasonable nomination process.``

Song In-Soo issong@donga.com