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Revote on Marine probe bill to be held next week

May 22, 2024 - 15:33 By Jung Min-kyung
Outgoing National Assembly Speaker Rep. Kim Jin-pyo speaks in a press conference held at the National Assembly in Yeouido, western Seoul on Wednesday. (Yonhap)

Outgoing National Assembly Speaker Rep. Kim Jin-pyo said Wednesday that he plans to hold a revote on the vetoed bill mandating a special counsel investigation into alleged state interference in a probe into the death of a young Marine next week.

Kim, who is to step down from his current position at the end of this month, said that an extraordinary plenary meeting for the revote will be held on May 28, regardless of the two largest political parties’ different stances towards the vetoed bill.

“Even if the rival parties fail to agree on (the scheduling of the revote), I plan to hold a plenary meeting on May 28 for the revote on the bill that mandates a special counsel investigation of the death of Marine Cpl. Chae Su-geun,” Kim said in a press conference marking the end of his four-year term as the National Assembly speaker held at the National Assembly in Seoul.

The bill, which President Yoon Suk Yeol vetoed on Tuesday, gives the opposition party the exclusive power to recommend candidates for a special counsel to probe into the allegations that the Yoon administration had inappropriately interfered in the military’s separate and initial investigation into the death of Chae, who was swept away by the current during a search and rescue mission for victims of heavy rains in a stream last July. Tuesday's presidential veto marked Yoon's 10th since taking office in May 2022.

Once a vetoed bill is sent back to the National Assembly, it must win two-thirds of approval in the parliamentary vote, in order to override the presidential veto.

Without votes in favor of the bill from lawmakers of the ruling People Power Party, the bill could be entirely scrapped ahead of the current session of the Assembly, in which its term expires ahead of May 31, when the incoming parliament kicks off its term.

Meanwhile, main opposition Democratic Party of Korea leader Rep. Lee Jae-myung on Wednesday denounced Yoon’s exercise of his veto power the previous day and called on the ruling party lawmakers to vote in favor of the bill in the planned revote, against the party line.

During a Democratic Party Supreme Council meeting, Lee warned the People Power Party that they could be "recorded in history as accomplices of an atrocious government," if they continue to defend Yoon.