Ruling party proposes partisan negotiation over bill to set up separate probe unit

By Yonhap
  • Published : Oct 20, 2019 - 21:38
  • Updated : Oct 20, 2019 - 21:38

The ruling Democratic Party proposed Sunday that political parties prioritize negotiation of a bill to set up an independent unit to probe allegations of corruption by ranking public officials.

The bill is part of judiciary reform proposals that include a bill to give more investigative power to police. Both were placed on the fast-track in late April, along with an election reform bill.

With regard to a drive to reform the prosecution, the ball is now passed to the National Assembly following the resignation of former Justice Minister Cho Kuk.

Lawmakers of major political parties hold a meeting on Sunday to discuss pending issues including the establishment of a special corruption investigation unit. (From left) Reps. Kwon Eun-hee of the Bareunmirae Party, Song Ki-hun of the Democratic Party, Na Kyung-won of the Liberty Korea Party, Lee In-young of the DP, Oh Shin-hwan of the BP, and Kweon Seong-dong of the LKP. (Yonhap)

"The key to the overhaul is to establish a separate investigation agency," Rep. Park Chan-dae, spokesman of the DP, told reporters.

Last week, the DP and two opposition parties met over a set of the reform bills, but they only confirmed the gap in their stance over the agency.

The reform of the prosecution is a key election pledge by President Moon Jae-in.

Cho, a key architect of Moon's reform drive, resigned last week after serving the post for roughly for one month.

His family is under a prosecution probe into allegations about the forgery of a school award, financial wrongdoing and academic favors.

The DP insists it is possible for the National Assembly to handle the bill at a plenary meeting in October.

But the main opposition Liberty Korea Party opposes the DP's proposal to prioritize in negotiating over the probe agency bill.

"The move appears at being aimed at supporting Cho's return and covering up corruption allegations of the Moon administration," LKP floor leader Na Kyung-won said.