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High-ranking Police Officers Lobbied For MOGAHA`s Minister Kim Doo-kwan

High-ranking Police Officers Lobbied For MOGAHA`s Minister Kim Doo-kwan

Posted August. 22, 2003 21:40,   


The Ministry of Government Administration and Home Affairs and high-ranking police officers are said to have lobbied some lawmakers of the opposition Grand National Party to block the passage of a bill calling for the resignation of the MOGAHA`s minister Kim Doo-kwan in the National Assembly.

GNP floor leader Hong Sa-duck said Friday at a meeting with reporters, “Some high-ranking police officers visited or called our lawmakers to persuade them not to vote for the bill. Some of our lawmakers said they had been troubled with those visitors and callers.”

A lawmaker from Gyeonggi Province echoed the floor leader`s claim by saying, “Senior police officers called several times to persuade me to vote against the bill saying `when the Hanchongnyeon incident took place, the minister was on a vacation.`”

He also added that the police seemed to fear the possibility that the head of the police might step down along with the MOGAHA`s minister Kim in the event the bill passes.

GNP lawmakers maintained that Minister Kim visited lawmakers in person to persuade them to strike down the bill at the parliament earlier this week.

An official at the MOGAHA said, “Key officials of the Ministry began to make contact with GNP lawmakers early last week when the issue of presenting a bill calling for the dismissal of Minister Kim to the National Assembly was discussed in earnest. In addition, an analysis on lawmakers` opinions of the bill has been performed.”

He continued to say, “Around 30 lawmakers of the GNP are against the bill, along with some 8 lawmakers of the United Liberal Democrats.”

As the controversy over the lobby to protect Minister Kim from being dismissed has been intensifying, the minister held a meeting with reporters Friday afternoon, clearly saying that he never instructed police officers to lobby lawmakers to block the passage of the bill.

However, Minister Kim admitted that he had called some 40 lawmakers to explain his position on the issue and promised to make efforts to prevent a similar incident from reoccurring. “Half of the lawmakers said they would help to block the passage of the bill, but the rest said they had no choice but to follow party line, rejecting his request for help.

Meanwhile, GNP floor leader Hong said, “The GNP will submit the bill as planned to the National Assembly on August 29 and act on the bill at the plenary session to be held on September 1.”

Yeon-Wook Jung Jong-Hoon Lee jyw11@donga.com taylor55@donga.com