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President Roh Says, “Vetoing Independent Counsel Bill is not Against the Constitution”

President Roh Says, “Vetoing Independent Counsel Bill is not Against the Constitution”

Posted November. 16, 2003 22:31,   


In connection with the arising insistence - President Roh’s veto on the “Independent Counsel bill into suspicions of the president’s aides,” which the National Assembly passed, that it is against the constitution - President Roh Moo-hyun insisted on November 16, “The president’s veto is not against the constitution, but is the given authority of the president from the intrinsic attribute of the constitution.”

President Roh held a social gathering with the press at Chunchugwan (the Spring and Autumn Pavilion), in the Blue House and said, “It is quite all right for people to argue whether or not the veto is pertinent, but saying that that the veto is unconstitutional, that it violates the constitution, or that it defies the National Assembly is out of ignorance.”

President Roh also said, “The legislative power has a limitation, and it must not disturb the principle of the division of powers and the government’s right of investigation,” and, “The only occasion that the National Assembly’s law to order an investigation into a certain scandal fits for the intent of the division of powers is when the government’s investigation does not operate properly and the National Assembly’s restraining influence is recognized.”

Subsequently, President Roh said, “It is the right order that the prosecution’s investigation should be preceded by the independent counsel, and if the result of the investigation leaves much to be desired, then the independent counsel will operate. Therefore, give the prosecution time to primarily investigate the scandal.” And he explained, “(Under the condition of the prosecution’s unfinished investigation) once we accept the independent counsel as it is, it could meet with bad results against the principle of the division of powers.”

In connection with the question regarding if President Roh’s remarks hints a veto, President Roh answered, “It is my opinion on the controversy on a principle of law, and a veto is another question.” President Roh added, “In my personal opinion, I make my position clear that I never refuse to clarify my aides’ corruption allegation by the independent counsel.”

Meanwhile, the Grand National Party (GNP) and the Millennium Democratic Party (MDP) insisted, “It is against the National Assembly for President Roh to veto the independent counsel bill, which was passed by an overwhelming two thirds of the legislative body members,” and they urged President Roh to accept the independent counsel immediately. GNP spokesman Park Jin insisted in the commentary that, “If President Roh vetoes the independent counsel, then the nation and the opposition parties will disapprove of President Roh.”

But the Open Uri Party befriended President Roh, saying, “It means that as the president, he will correctly summit the independent counsel, which is unconstitutional in its formalities and details, for reconsideration.”

Jeong-Hun Kim jnghn@donga.com