Park slams NPAD over stalemate [2014/09/24 11:40]

President Park Geun-hye clarified Tuesday that her administration would not accept calls from opposition lawmakers to take the initiative in providing the ferry victims` families with the authority to investigate and indict suspects. Her stance that Cheong WaDae would not respond to the demand from the main opposition party and the victims` families came during the Cabinet meeting on Tuesday.

Over the past few months, the New Politics Alliance for Democracy and the families have called on the presidential office to persuade the ruling Saenuri Party to pass the “original” Sewol bill. Were Cheong WaDae to become involved in the legislating the original bill, “it could … undermine the trilateral powers and the judicial system,” Park said, referring to the legislative, judicial and administrative branches of government.

Stressing that she would not abuse her presidential authority, Park said the NPAD should accept the compromise bill proposed by the Saenuri Party. The ruling party still turned down the opposition`s demand for special investigation and indictment powers to special prosecutors approved by a panel including representatives of the victims` families.

President Park commented on the latest version of the bill, which has been tentatively mapped out between the two political parties. “The second agreement specifies that the ruling party is banned from recommending two independent prosecutors without the consent of the opposition and the victims` families,” she said.

“(The revised compromise) is the ruling party`s final determination to resolve distrust from the families and the opposition on the procedure for recommending an independent prosecutor.”

Concerning the rising calls for her to again meet with the families, Park said she had already heard about their difficulties during past meetings in Cheong WaDae and on Jindo Island, South Jeolla Province, near where the ferry sank. “Many public officials have been reprimanded so far. (The administration) is still making efforts to solve problems unveiled (by the investigative agencies),” Park said.

Her remarks are likely to bring about a possible third round of negotiations between the Saenuri and the NPAD. It seems unlikely, though, that the ruling party will offer more concessions. President Park also expressed anger about allegations surrounding her whereabouts on April 16, when the ferry disaster occurred.

While some media and opposition lawmakers have raised the suspicion that Park was with a former male adviser at a private location, Park said that “remarks insulting the president, who represents the public, go beyond (the proper) bounds.” She said these kinds of allegations could also have a negative impact on the nation`s diplomatic relations.

After the Seoul bureau of Sankei Shimbun speculated in its Aug. 3 online edition that Park was not at Cheong WaDae when the ferry capsized on the morning of April 16, Rep. SulHoon of the NPAD mentioned the question of her whereabouts for seven hours that day in a recent speech at the National Assembly.

Sul has said that he “does not believe that the president went out (with a man).” The prosecution, which is investigating the Japanese newspaper, has said that Park was found to have not met with Chung Yoon-hoi, who has been a key confidant since 1998, when she entered the Assembly after winning the by-election for the Dalseong constituency in Daegu.
출처: 헤럴드미디어 영자신문 코리아헤럴드 (