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Opposition alliance demands special probe into election scandal

Updated: 2013-12-23 PM 4:28:51 (KST)
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A bill that calls for a special separate investigation into allegations that state agencies interfered in last year's presidential election has been submitted to the National Assembly.
The bill was drafted jointly by the main opposition Democratic Party, the minor opposition Justice Party and independent lawmaker Ahn Cheol-soo.
It targets the Defense Ministry, the Ministry of Patriots and Veterans Affairs, the Ministry of Security and Public Administration, and the Unification Ministry in addition to the spy agency whose former director is standing trial for allegedly ordering agents to post online messages to sway public opinion in favor of then-ruling party candidate and now president, Park Geun-hye.
In addition, the bill says civilians who are believed to have taken part in illegal activities should also be subject to a special probe.
Further, the bill says the probe should target the presidential office, the spy agency, the prosecution and the police for allegedly making attempts to downsize and conceal the results of earlier investigations and tamper with them.
As for who should lead the special probe, the bill says a parliamentary committee should recommend two candidates and one be selected afterward.
Saying President Park benefitted the most from the electioneering scandal, Democratic Party leader Kim Han-gil stressed that a special independent investigation was necessary.

"I repeat once again that if the Park administration and the ruling Saenuri Party do not accept our proposal, they will face an even stronger resistance from the public."

The ruling Saenuri Party strongly condemned the opposition's move.

"To say that the prosecution's probe is poor and demand a separate investigation NOW is an attempt by the opposition to carry this issue into next year's local elections in June, and use it to their advantage."

It remains unclear whether the joint bill will lead to the appointment of a special investigator as launching a probe requires a majority of lawmakers to be in attendance in the plenary session and a majority of those voting for it.
The ruling Saenuri Party holds 1-hundred-55 seats in the 300-member parliament.
Kim Yeon-ji, Arirang News.

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