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Interim President Goh Set to Veto Three Bills

Posted March. 21, 2004 22:35,   


Interim president Goh Kun has tentatively decided to veto three bills: an amendment of the amnesty law, an amendment of the law on the reinstatement of and compensation for former pro-democracy activists, and the bill on the reinstatement of the victims of the Geochang massacre, at a cabinet meeting scheduled for March 23.

“Acting president Goh has reached the decision after going over a number of practical considerations,” a senior government official said on March 21.

“While he vetoes the amendment of the amnesty law requiring the president to consult with the National Assembly before declaring an amnesty, Goh will make it clear that the government won’t abuse presidential amnesty power in a move to preempt parliamentary resistance,” the official said. “He will demand reconsideration of the bill in writing.”

Regarding the laws on the reinstatement of and compensation for former pro-democracy activists and of the victims of the Geochang massacre, the government concluded that the two laws are not just problematic in light of jurisprudence, but also their large payouts for victims would put financial burdens on the government.

“As for the Geochang massacre, the victims were reinstated by the government in 1997,” said an official at the acting president’s office. “If the government financially compensates for the massacre, it will have to compensate for all civilian casualties during the Korean War, creating billions of wons in financial burdens.

However, he will sign into the law the bill on the compensation for the Kwangju Democratic Movement, which is aimed at extending the period for compensation petitions until May 31 because it is projected to take about three billion won to pay for 40 new petitioners.