National Assembly passes motion to confirm new PM alongside prosecutorial reform bills
Updated: 2020-01-14 04:20:45 KST
In parliament's plenary session on Monday, lawmakers passed a motion approving the appointment of prime minister nominee Chung Sye-kyun.
Chung's confirmation hearing report was not adopted during his hearing last week due to strong backlash from the main opposition, pointing to allegegations that Chung misused his influence in a land development project in Hwaseong.
Still, the motion was approved with a majority of 164 out of 295 lawmakers, which included the ruling Democratic Party and other minor opposition blocs.
After casting their votes, the main opposition Liberty Korea Party walked out of the chamber in protest over the remaining bills set to be put up for a vote later the session, which went ahead without them.
Lawmakers also gave the green light to a set of fast-tracked bills.
Despite the absence of the main opposition, they were able to pass two bills on redistributing investigative rights between the prosecution and the police.
The revised Criminal Procedure Act will now grant the police the right to conduct initial investigations and close a probe without prosecutors' approval.
It will also give the prosecution exclusive right to file indictments and to request that the police conduct additional investigations.
The revised Prosecutors' Office Act will allow the prosecution to investigate cases related to specific areas such as those involving government officials, corruption and elections.
The so-called three kindergarten bills were also passed.
The bills will require private kindergartens to use Edufine, a state-run accounting system, and they would ban owners from serving as administrative heads.
The food served at kindergartens will also be required to meet standards similar to those of public schools.
With that, lawmakers have passed all the pending bills that were put on fast track last year, ending the months-long bipartisan dispute. But with the strong backlash from the main opposition bloc, the run-up to the April general elections is expected to be all the more contentious.
Kim Mok-yeon, Arirang News.