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GNP Will Suffer if Special Prosecution is Rejected

Posted November. 23, 2003 22:44,   


Regarding a special prosecution law for the presidential aides’ scandals, Chairman of the Grand National Party (GNP), Choe Byung-yul, said yesterday, “If President Roh Moo-hyun exercises a veto, our party will decide to create a fight against the President instead of voting for reconsideration at the National Assembly.”

In a press conference at the GNP headquarters yesterday morning, Choe warned that the National Assembly will have no choice but to give a denial to the president if he does not accept the National Assembly. He said, “A plan of special prosecution law was passed with an approval of more than two-thirds of the lawmakers in the National Assembly. In addition, over 60 percent of the public reportedly agreed on introducing the special prosecution law.” Choe said that the president may hide his own scandals until the end if he intends to exercise a veto in such a situation.

The GNP will hold an interim general meeting on November 24 to decide on the party’s final stance. Since the management of the GNP decided to take strong measures -- including resignations of National Assembly representatives and rejection of deliberating budget plans -- the political situation will most likely be tense.

During a luncheon meeting with the press, Choe referred to a suspicion of money transaction between the Kang Gum-won, Chairman of the Changshin Textile Co., and President Roh, saying, “More than three billion won of money had been transferred. Even though one side accepted it the other night and gave it back the next morning, it is evident that they had received it and that was a bribe.” He stressed that this action is “a crime of bribery” and could be a suitable reason for “impeachment.”

Prior to Choe’s remarks, floor-leader of GNP Rep. Lee Jae-oh said in a press meeting on November 22 that the president’s veto itself will be a cause for impeachment if he refuses to accept the special prosecution law without any good reason. The special prosecution law is approved by more than two-thirds of the National Assembly members.

“Given that a pile of domestic issues such as economic slowdown and deliberations of next year’s budget are ahead of us, GNP’s idea of moving forward in an infinite struggle would be hard to persuade the citizen,” said Kim Sung-soon, a representative of the Millennium Democratic Party at a briefing. “However, the president should accept the special prosecution for investigating his aides’ scandals if the National Assembly makes an overall consensus on the plan,” he added. Rep. Chung Dong-chae, a spokesman of the Uri Party, criticized the GNP that it revealed the party’s “impudent intention” of fighting against the Roh administration in a bid to conceal its own “Achilles tendon.”

Meanwhile, spokesman of the Blue House Yoon Tae-young held an official briefing on the same day and said, “We take the GNP’s remarks as a collective unreasonable demand rather than a political reaction, as they are talking about an overall fight on the assumption of supposing execution of veto.”

Yeon-Wook Jung Sung-Won Park jyw11@donga.com swpark@donga.com