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Opposition leadership takes backseat from the first reform proposal

Opposition leadership takes backseat from the first reform proposal

Posted June. 27, 2023 08:11,   

Updated June. 27, 2023 08:11


"In instances where requests for arrest warrants arise during parliamentary sessions, we will not automatically reject them as party policy. Furthermore, we intend to gather our party members' consensus concerning the renunciation of parliamentary immunity from arrest," announced Kwon Chil-seung, chief spokesperson of the Democratic Party of Korea.

The party's leadership shared this stance in response to the inaugural reform proposal from the 'Kim Eun-kyung Innovation Committee.’ The proposal urges all members to waive their parliamentary immunity from arrest and mandates the passage of arrest warrants as a party policy. While the party respects the Committee's suggestions, it underscored the significance of considering individual members' perspectives. Their cautious approach towards both aspects of the Innovation Committee's proposals is perceived to be a reaction to a backlash within the party leadership itself. Some questioned if the proposals imply the surrender of their "constitutional right to protect legislative power," labeling it as an indication of "a lack of understanding of the political landscape."

Critics from the political sphere have queried, "The Innovation Committee sought party policy endorsement, but does this mean they are stating 'we won't outright reject it'?" The People Power Party has kept up its pressure, stating, "If they fail to enforce even the relinquishment of parliamentary immunity from arrest, which was presented as the Innovation Committee's foremost objective, the very existence of such a Committee becomes questionable."

"We will avoid convening a temporary parliament to reject an arrest warrant request (should a prosecutor seek an arrest warrant for a party member). Instead, we will ensure a recess period for a comprehensive review of the arrest warrant," Kwon said after a senior party meeting on Monday. "If requests for arrest warrants arise during parliamentary sessions, we will not reject them as party policy."

"We will strive to reach a consensus," Kwon stated about the surrender of parliamentary immunity from arrest. "Further discussions on the specific formats or procedural aspects will be conducted."

The ruling People Power Party was quick to criticize the Innovation Committee's as useless. "The opposition party leaders pledged full authority to the party's Innovation Committee, yet they seem to be backtracking,” a ruling party member criticized. “The leadership will collect members' opinions as soon as the first reform proposal has been tabled."

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