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Politicians Clash on Impeachment, BBK Investigation Bills

Politicians Clash on Impeachment, BBK Investigation Bills

Posted December. 15, 2007 03:36,   


On December 14, United New Democratic Party (UNDP) and Grand National Party (GNP) lawmakers confronted each other physically and verbally regarding the bill to impeach the three prosecutors who investigated the BBK stock manipulation case and the bill to adopt a special prosecution team to investigate GNP presidential candidate Lee Myung-bak’s involvement in the BBK case (known as the Lee Myung-bak Special Prosecution Bill).

At around 5:20 P.M., as it tried to present its prosecutor-impeachment bill and Lee Myung-bak Special Prosecution Bill to the assembly, UNDP lawmakers entered the plenary session floor, where GNP assemblymen were holding a demonstration from the previous day, and dominated the chairman’s seat after 40 minutes of struggling against the GNP assemblymen.

Over the course of the fierce physical confrontation, GNP assemblyman Cha Myeong-jin was injured when he was pushed down from the platform by the UNDP assemblymen who threw their bodies into chairman’s seat, and was taken to the hospital on a stretcher.

Prior to this chaos, 80 UNDP assemblymen held a sit-down protest in front of the plenary session floor on the same day after 110 GNP assemblymen had blocked entry to the floor by locking the door with chains, but the UNDP cut the chains with electronic saws with the help of office staffers and technicians, and entered the plenary session floor.

Chairman of the National Assembly Lim Chae-jung, who had called the plenary session at 2:00 P.M. the same day, proposed a deadline for deliberations to the representatives of both parties right after the incidents, saying, “Please deliberate on the special prosecution bill in the Legislation and Judiciary Committee, the standing committee in charge, by noon December 17.”

In case the Legislation and Judiciary Committee fails to deliberate on the special prosecution bill by noon December 17, the bill will automatically be presented ex officio at the plenary session, possibly causing another confrontation between the two parties.

If the impeachment bill is not transacted by 2:00 p.m. December 15, 72 hours from 2:00 p.m. December 12, when the bill was reported to the National Assembly, it will automatically be nullified based on the National Assembly Act.

In late afternoon of the same day the GNP held an emergency general meeting and discussed whether to fight the impeachment bill again.

Both parties held general assembly meeting in the morning and afternoon and harshly defamed each other.

At the general assembly, Representative Kim Hyo-seok of the UNDP criticized the GNP’s attempts to fight the impeachment bill and special prosecution bill, saying, “Candidate Lee Myung-bak habitually tells others to abide by the law, but what actually is going on is very dumbfounding. We will have these bills presented under any condition.”

At the general assembly, GNP representative Ahn Sang-soo said, “It is funny that they are trying to influence the presidential election through the special prosecution bill on one of the candidates, and the prosecutor-impeachment bill as well, just 5 days prior to the election. Their strategy to have candidate Lee Myung-bak fettered with a special prosecution probe even after his victory, and to make use of it in the general election, is not forgivable.”

Meanwhile, the Democratic Labor Party and Democratic Party, which are negative about the impeachment bill but positive about the special prosecution bill, kept an eye on the situation on the plenary session floor.

The Lee Myung-bak Special Prosecution Bill defines the following as issues to be investigated: candidate Lee’s manipulation of BBK stock prices; ownership of land in Dogok-dong under a borrowed account; the granting of sales privileges regarding Sang-am DMC; privileges granted to the AIG group; disguised employment of his children; and tax evasion.