Parliament at standstill as political parties debate Choi investigation

Parliament at standstill as political parties debate Choi investigation

Parliament has once again fallen into a standstill,…
with the rival parties pursuing different approaches to an independent counsel investigation
for the Choi case. Park Ji-won has the latest from the National
Assembly. Korea’s political parties have failed to reach
agreement on how to proceed with an independent investigation into the Choi Soon-sil scandal,…
as they’re all advocating for different approaches. The ruling Saenuri Party wants to use a special
prosecution system… established in 2014,… which *it says will result in a swift investigation. The main opposition Democratic Party of Korea
has rejected that idea, arguing that under the system, the president appoints the independent
counsel and the investigation period is only 90 days at maximum. Instead, it wants an independent counsel investigation
governed by a separate law. The party also said it won’t take part in
bipartisan negotiations,… unless three conditions are met: “First, the Saenuri Party should offer a sincere
apology to the public. Second, Senior Presidential Secretary Woo
Byung-woo should resign. Third, all of the key government officials
involved in the Choi case should resign.” In response, Saenuri Party floor leader Chung
Jin-suk said the conditions have already been met. He also said that if the Presidential Office
refuses to undertake a reshuffle, the ruling party leadership will resign. “We already asked to resign, told the public
that we’re sorry, and also accepted the call for an independent counsel. What did we miss?” In addition, Saenuri Party leader Lee Jung-hyun
told reporters on Friday… that he had met with President Park earlier in the day and
called for Choi’s immediate repatriation… and a swift reshuffle of Cabinet members and
presidential officials. Meanwhile, the minor opposition People’s Party
says it’s not the time for an additional investigation into the case, but if there had to be one
then it would advocate for an independent counsel appointed by the opposition bloc. It also reiterated its call for the president
to come clean on the allegations. “We appeal to President Park and Choi Soon-sil. The only way now is a complete confession. The president, who knows the whole truth,
should reveal it to the people… and dismiss the key presidential secretaries and other
responsible officials.” “Amid the stand-off,… National Assembly Speaker Chung Sye-kyun and
the floor leaders of the three main parties are slated to meet on Monday to discuss the
matter further. Park Ji-won, Arirang News.”

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