Go to contents

Revote or Submit New Independent Counsel Bill?

Posted November. 27, 2003 22:39,   


How will the battle against the ruling party, inflamed by Grand National Party Chairman Choe Byung-yul’s hunger strike, end?

As of now, the GNP leadership is focusing on its primary goal of getting President Roh Moo-hyun to withdraw his special investigation bill veto. They will continue to pit against the leading party until President Roh decides to withdraw his veto.

At a press conference on November 28, GNP secretary general Rep. Lee Jae-oh stated, “Rep. Choe is not undergoing a hunger strike and refusing deliberations to pressure a re-vote of the independent counsel bill. Withdrawing his decision to veto the bill is the only way President Roh can regain trust from the people and the National Assembly.

However, GNP leadership is viewing it to be improbable that President Roh will withdraw his decision first.

President Roh made it clear that he would not be defeated in this battle of wills at a meeting with the North Cholla Province press saying, “If concessions outside the rules are continuously made, the order of politics will crumble.”

Considering the present climate, the opinion that the GNP will launch a vote battle by choosing to vote again on the independent counsel bill is gaining strength. The reasons are that public opinion is currently against the GNP’s refusal to attend the National Assembly, and it would be wrong to drag the present political conflict infinitely.

As of present, it is highly likely that November 28, when the Millennium Democratic Party selects its new leadership, will be the turning point. If the new leadership of MDP, holding the casting vote, clearly states their support for re-voting on the bill, the three opposition parties have a just cause to cooperate with one another.

Rep. Hong Joon-pyo, chief partisan strategist of GNP told reporters this morning, “We could agree to re-vote on the independent counsel bill, if the MDP decides to support it.”

There is also the possibility that, instead of posting the bill for a re-vote, a new bill supplementing the former independent counsel bill will be submitted. Some view the GNP’s request to the prosecution to investigate Kang Keum-won and Lee Ki-myeong, both close associates of President Roh, as a prelude to submitting a new independent counsel bill.

Some hardliners within the party are hinting that Choe’s hunger strike can act as a trigger in the struggle to get President Roh to step down from office, but the numbers are few.

Yeon-Wook Jung jyw11@donga.com