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President Yoon's second veto on the Nursing Practice Act

President Yoon's second veto on the Nursing Practice Act

Posted May. 17, 2023 07:56,   

Updated May. 17, 2023 07:56


President Yoon Suk Yeol exercised his right to request reconsideration (veto) of the Nursing Practice Act enactment bill, which was pushed forward by the Democratic Party of Korea, saying, “It is causing excessive conflict between job roles and causing anxiety on public health.” This is the second exercise of the veto right following the Grain Management Act on the 4th of last month, and it has been 20 days since the passage of the Nursing Practice Act enactment bill in the plenary session of the National Assembly on April 27. The Democratic Party immediately protested, calling it “a complete disregard for the legislative power of the National Assembly,” on the same day, and its Education Committee passed the “interest-free student loan act."

Amid the sharp difference of opinion between the ruling and opposition parties over the Yellow Envelope Act (revision bill of the Labor Union Act) and the Broadcasting Act, a series of bill enactment attempts by the opposition party with a huge majority continue to be shot down by the President's veto right, causing some to be concerned that the innate function of politics, which is to come up with alternatives through cooperation, are getting lost effectively.

At a Tuesday morning cabinet meeting at the Presidential Office in Yongsan, the president pointed out, “The Nursing Practice Act is causing excessive conflict between related job positions. The departure of nursing practice work from medical institutions is causing people to feel apprehensive about possible health impact.” After deliberation and resolution of the request for a re-review of the Nursing Practice Act, President Yoon immediately approved the re-review request around 12:10 p.m. right after the meeting.

In particular, President Yoon emphasized, “People's health cannot be replaced with anything else. Public health takes precedence over politics, diplomacy, and economic and industrial policies." These comments of the president are reported to criticize the Democratic Party's handling of the bill, which led to the passage of the Nursing Practice Act in the plenary session despite opposition from the ruling party.

The Democratic Party and the Korean Nurses Association immediately took issue with the move. The party’s Floor Leader Park Kwang-on released a statement and said, “President Yoon’s exercise of the veto right is nothing short of denying what the public wants. The Democratic Party will respect the will of the people by holding a re-vote in the National Assembly,” he said. The Association held an emergency press conference on the same day, saying, “We will hold President Yoon responsible politically for breaking his promise.”

Furthermore, the ruling and opposition parties clashed again as the Democratic Party single-handedly passed the “interest-free student loan law” at the general meeting of the Education Committee of the National Assembly the same day. Members of the education committee affiliated with the People’s Power Party did not attend the meeting on this day in protest against the bill's enforcement, saying, “The Democratic Party unilaterally passed the legislation.”

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