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Main opposition plans to file a complaint against BAI leadership

Main opposition plans to file a complaint against BAI leadership

Posted October. 08, 2022 07:40,   

Updated October. 08, 2022 07:40


Citing the audit by the Board of Audit and Inspection of Korea (BAI) on the death of a public official in the West Sea as a “PB (President's Office and Board of Audit and Inspection) gate,” Democratic Party of Korea has filed a complaint against Choi Jae-hae, head of the Board of Audit and Inspection (BAI) and BAI Secretary-General Yoo Byung-ho, and are looking into conducting a national audit on them as well. On the other hand, the People Power Party argues, "The Democratic Party is knee-deep in political bickering following the written investigation request made by the BAI against former President Moon Jae-in." This indicates that the conflict between the ruling and opposition parties is reaching the point of no return in the run-up to the audit against the BAI on Tuesday.

Park Hong-geun, the floor leader of the Democratic Party of Korea, criticized at the Supreme Council meeting held at the National Assembly on Friday, saying, "(An audit on the BAI) can be considered as a PR Gate and nothing less, orchestrated by the Presidential Office, and actual work done by the BAI." On Wednesday, the Democratic Party plans to file a complaint against Choi and others to the Corruption Investigation Office for High-ranking Officials. Park said, “If requests for Chairman Choi’s resignation, Secretary-General Yoo’s dismissal, and more strict investigation are denied continuously, the Democratic Party is left with no choice but to review procedures such as hearings and national investigations under the National Assembly Act to hold them accountable for the unethical misconduct in national affairs.”

The reason behind the opposition party zoning in on the BAI not long after the Yoon Suk-yeol administration's first national audit is that this issue is becoming what looks like a clash between the previous and current administrations. "With the BAI’s heavy political inclination illustrated by an audit set on humiliating Moon, the BAI issue has become a hot issue of this year’s national audit." The Democratic Party is preparing not only the amendment of the BAI Act proposed by National Assembly member Shin Jeong-hoon on Sept. 14 (addition of the requirement to provide political neutrality when performing duties for the BAI) but also getting ready to propose a bill that further specifies the regulations related to the audit initiation by the BAI.

On the other hand, the People Power Party criticized the Democratic Party for using the BAI audit as an excuse to render the national audit into a political conflict. Members of the People Power Party of the Legislation and Judiciary Committee of the National Assembly stated on the same day, “The Democratic Party insists on a policy-based and people’s livelihood-driven national audit on the surface. However, by cleverly mixing procedural remarks and personal remarks and taking the issue with the BAI’s audit of former President Moon, it is (at the Committee) engaging in political bickering.”

Seong-Ho Hwang hsh0330@donga.com