Korea’s political parties deadlocked over independent counsel extension

Korea’s political parties deadlocked over independent counsel extension


Korea’s political parties are still butting
heads over the need for an extension of the independent counsel’s investigation into that
massive corruption scandal. Their stalemate sends the decision back to
the acting president. Park Ji-won has the latest from parliament. Korea’s rival parties have failed to narrow
their differences on the issue of whether to extend the ongoing independent counsel
investigation, even after a meeting Thursday morning between the floor leaders of the major
political parties and National Assembly Speaker Chung Sye-kyun. At the meeting, the opposition parties again
asked the National Assembly speaker to use his authority… and put their bill on extending
the investigation up for a full parliamentary vote, but he reiterated that he cannot. Chung said he can exercise his authority only
in the case of national emergencies, including a disaster or war, or in the case of an agreement
among the party floor leaders. The opposition bloc wants to see the investigation
extended, but the ruling Liberty Korea Party is opposed. With the parties still locked in disagreement,
Chung said there was no way for him to call a vote on the bill, which will remain in the
parliamentary judiciary committee for now. Instead, the speaker said he’d call Acting
President Hwang Kyo-ahn,… who has the power to decide whether to extend the investigation
or not. During the call, Hwang reportedly reiterated
that he is currently examining the related laws. “If Acting President Hwang Kyo-ahn doesn’t
grant the extension, the independent counsel will have no choice but to finish the investigation
at the end of the month. Park Ji-won, Arirang News.”

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