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Opposition’s will to stop ruling party’s media arbitration act

Opposition’s will to stop ruling party’s media arbitration act

Posted August. 21, 2021 07:27,   

Updated August. 21, 2021 07:27


The main opposition People’s Power Party on Friday labeled a revision bill to the media arbitration act, which the ruling Democratic Party is railroading, an act for protecting former Justice Minister Cho Kuk, while vowing, “We will mobilize all legal and institutional measures available including constitutional appeal to curb its legislation.”

“The (amended) media arbitration act is nothing less than an act for protecting Cho Kuk, which will generate a second and third Cho Kuk and back them up,” People’s Power Party floor leader Kim Ki-hyun told a meeting of party members on the day. “Even after the court issued a (guilty) verdict, Cho Kuk has insisted that it is fake news, and leading Democratic Party presidential candidates are also supporting his claim.”

“If a civil servant’s family commits illegal acts and wrongdoings including fraudulent admission to college by using diverse foul plays and circumventive measures, and insists that they are private activities (as Cho did), it will be impossible to properly verify his or her ethical quality,” Kim said. “If and when the media generates a flurry of news reports about a nominee, as was the situation when Cho was scrutinized for his eligibility as justice minister nominee), such a nominee will come to be allowed to seek injunction to publishing such reports at the pretext of privacy violation.”

“The presidential office of Cheong Wa Dae and the Democratic Party have been overthrowing the fundamentals of this country based on self-righteousness and arrogance while in power, just like the Taliban forces that have occupied Afghanistan,” the flood leader added.

Notably, the opposition parties are raising issue with the provision in the revision bill on the media arbitration act that allows former ranking officials to seek punitive damage. For example, President Moon Jae-in will be allowed to claim news reports, which raise suspicions around him after his retirement, to be fake news and seek compensation for damage.

Bae Jin-gyo, the floor leader of the Justice Party, told an interview with KBS Radio on the day, “In whichever perspective, namely the content of the revision bill and the way the Democratic Party is railroading, it is nothing less than an unilateral legislative stampede,” adding, “We have named the bill ‘media control act’ because those in political and economic power can file a strategic blockade suit.”

“If the law only imposes accountability on the media while suppressing the media’s independence, it will hamper fairness and public justice,” Bae said. “We have no idea why (the ruling party) is railroading the bill that is only ostensibly an act on recovery from damage caused by the media.”

Kyung-Suk Kang coolup@donga.com