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[Editorial] Deal with the Bill to Consent on Arrests in Dignity

[Editorial] Deal with the Bill to Consent on Arrests in Dignity

Posted December. 07, 2003 23:03,   


The National Assembly, after wasting 10 days with controversies over the special investigation, has submitted a request of convocation, manifesting their will to hold a temporary session from December 10 to December 20. The reason is that it is physically impossible to deal with all 800 pending bills in the Assembly. There is no one among the people who would be opposed to holding a temporary session to properly discuss the bills. It is important to discuss the budget bill for the coming year, which has been already met the legal deadline but has yet to be passed, in an in-depth manner while taking time in order for the bill not to be sacrificed in a hasty conclusion.

Above all, what is of the most importance is the people’s confidence in the Assembly. A large number of people doubt that this idea of a temporary session is a “bulletproof session.” As the prosecution has requested for preliminary warrants for Rep. Park Ju-cheon of the GNP and Rep. Lee Hoon-pyon of the Millennium Democratic Party for their alleged involvement in the Hyundai secret fund, the number of representatives with alleged corruption has been extended to six. The prosecution has submitted a bill requesting for the consent of arrests, and the people doubt that the temporary session is shielding the representatives against the arrests.

The bill for the consent of arrest for one of the representatives has been pending for six months already. Since then, there have been constant temporary sessions in the National Assembly. Because representatives are immune to arrest or custody during the National Assembly session, so far they have not been able to be summoned to the prosecution. They have enjoyed the perfect privilege of exemption from apprehension.

Both parties are clearly demonstrating that they are not willing to deal with the bills for the consent of arrests. The two oppositional parties that re-passed the special investigation bill to clarify the corruption of the president’s close aides have been neglecting the corruption allegation over their representatives in such a cooperative manner.

This is a wrongful sense of colleagueship and clearly a dereliction of their duty. Rep. Lee is insisting on his innocence and pleading for the Assembly to deal with his arrest consent bill, but this is being silently neglected. If they are not dealing with the bill because it might also affect other representatives’ arrest bills, it is a regretful matter. The National Assembly is protecting law-breaking allegations. The Chairman of the Assembly should lead to put all the arrest consent bills on discussion simultaneously with his own official power. The discussion will produce results following this. The National Assembly should not be an asylum for “corrupted representatives.”