The Korea Herald


Hong parliamentary boycott over Moon’s budget, personnel picks

By Jo He-rim

Published : July 4, 2017 - 18:28

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Hong Joon-pyo, the new party chief of the main opposition Liberty Korea Party, said the party needs to participate in the parliamentary deliberation of President Moon Jae-in’s extra budget bill.

He also said the party should not put effort into preventing the appointments of “unfit” ministerial nominees, saying they are within the president’s legal authority.

“If citizens know that they are ‘unfit,’ that is good enough. It is the government’s fault if they forcefully appoint such personnel,” Hong told reporters after his meeting with Senior Presidential Secretary for Political Affairs Jun Byung-hun. The conservative party chief said he had expressed his stance to the presidential aide. 

Hong Joon-pyo (Yonhap) Hong Joon-pyo (Yonhap)

The party has adamantly been rejecting the appointments of ministers, including Defense Minister nominee Song Young-moo and Labor Minister nominee Cho Dae-yop. It has called for their voluntary resignations, citing their ethical lapses.

“The current system allows for ministerial positions to be appointed by the president without approval from the parliament. In these cases, it is the citizens who will judge.”

He also said the party would not agree to policies proposed by such unsuitable figures.

On President Moon’s proposal for a supplementary budget of 11.2 trillion won ($9.8 billion) to increase jobs in the public sector, Hong said the party should participate in its deliberation, a reversal from the previous boycott.

“It is impossible to increase the number of public servants using taxes, or it would just be following the trail of Greece,” Hong said. “But other than that, it is right to pass the extra budget bill if the conditions are right.”

Hong was elected as chief Monday during the party’s National Convention, which was hosted in two places, at the National Assembly and Namyangju, a city on the outskirts of Seoul.

By Jo He-rim (