President Roh Moo-hyun declined to veto the revision to the Police Officers Law that will be submitted to the cabinet council on December 27. However, he ordered complementary legislation to the revised police law at an extraordinary National Assembly session to be convened next February before the bill comes into effect on March 1, 2006.
Cheong Wa Dae spokesperson Kim Man-soo announced that the president said this when being briefed by Prime Minister Lee Hae-chan on current national affairs at Cheong Wa Dae.
Kim said, The president agreed that the difficult working conditions faced by low-ranking police officers should be improved. However, in order to balance this with other decrees, and other government workers such as firefighters, he decided to push forward complementary legislation next February.
Although the president did not exert his veto power on a revision pushed by the Uri Party on a party platform, ordering complementary legislation shows that there is a serious problem between the government and the ruling party in coordinating policy.
One cannot exclude the possibility that the revision to be proclaimed on December 27 will be implemented in its current shape, even if the government and ruling party attempt the complimentary legislation, since the political map is volatile and negotiations could fail with the Grand National Party.
On December 26, the government and Uri Party held an emergency meeting at the prime ministers office, with Prime Minister Lee and Uri Party Policy Chairperson Won Hye-young attending, and agreed to let officers be promoted up through lieutenant as long as the promotions reflect the specific promotion terms of the enforcement ordinance.
At the briefing, Won emphasized, Regulations on the personnel and structure of other public institutions similar to the police are contained in the enforcement ordnance. As a result, we will try to balance police personnel regulation of the revision with enforcement ordinances.
The revised police law reduces the promotion period for low-ranking policemen by one year, and sergeants can be automatically promoted to the rank of lieutenant after eight years of service.