Special counsel probe bill on Marine’s death rejected in re-vote

National Assembly Speaker Kim Jin-pyo bangs the gavel during a National Assembly plenary session on the re-vote of a bill to launch a special counsel probe into a Marine's death, Seoul, Tuesday. Yonhap

The National Assembly rejected and scrapped a bill to launch a special counsel probe into allegations that the Yoon Suk Yeol administration influenced the military’s investigation into the death of a Marine, during a parliamentary re-vote, Tuesday.The main opposition Democratic Party of Korea (DPK), which tabled the bill, pledged to reintroduce the same bill in the upcoming 22nd Assembly that will start on Thursday.During the final plenary session of the current 21st Assembly, 179 out of 294 attending lawmakers approved the bill, failing to meet the two-thirds, or 196 votes, required for passage. A total of 111 lawmakers opposed the bill, with four casting invalid ballots.To pass a bill once vetoed by the president, a majority of Assembly members must be present and at least two-thirds of those present need to vote in favor. The bill sought to launch an independent counsel investigation into the government’s alleged interference in the military’s probe into the death of Marine Cpl. Chae Su-geun during a flood rescue operation in July 2023. The DPK and other minor opposition parties suspect that the allegations may involve high-ranking government officials, potentially the president himself.

The bill was originally approved by the Assembly on May 2 but was sent back to the Assembly after Yoon exercised his presidential veto power on May 21. He characterized it as a political tactic by the opposition bloc aimed at undermining his administration through unnecessary investigations into the case. It is worth noting that the Corruption Investigation Office for High-ranking Officials has already been conducting an inquiry into the matter.Since 295 members are registered to the current Assembly, the re-passage required at least 17 votes from ruling People Power Party (PPP) members. Before the vote, five PPP lawmakers openly endorsed the bill, including Rep. Ahn Cheol-soo.As a result, the PPP leadership intensified its efforts to prevent what it termed “betrayal,” urging its members to maintain unity until the final moment. Contrary to the ruling party’s initial 온라인카지노 fears, the outcome revealed no significant defections among PPP members.

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