The Korea Herald


Parties agree to hold revote on special investigation bills

Electoral district map revision to be passed

By Jung Min-kyung

Published : Feb. 29, 2024 - 17:59

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(Yonhap) (Yonhap)

The floor leaders of South Korea's two main parties on Thursday agreed to hold a revote on the two special investigation bills vetoed by President Yoon Suk Yeol on Jan. 5.

The revote on the two bills, one of which pushes for a probe into a stock manipulation scandal linked to first lady Kim Keon Hee, was to take place during a plenary session scheduled in the afternoon.

“We plan to deal with the revote of the two special investigation bills (during the plenary session scheduled later in the day,” Democratic Party Floor Leader Hong Ihk-pyo said during an intra-party leadership meeting.

He called for the ruling People Power Party to help pass the investigation bills, saying that it would be an act of “common sense and justice” to do so.

People Power Party Floor Leader Yun Jae-ok told reporters earlier that the revote would be held during the scheduled plenary session.

Before Hong’s announcement Thursday, the main opposition party, which holds a clear majority in the National Assembly, had repeatedly postponed a revote on the bills.

The ruling People Power Party had called for the main opposition to cast the revote as soon as possible, while denouncing its repeated delay as a move to weaponize the scandal ahead of the April 10 general election.

The bill was one of two probe proposals passed by the opposition in December last year. Additionally, the main opposition Democratic Party of Korea has been urging an investigation into the so-called "Five-billion-won Club" associated with the Daejang-dong development scandal.

Yoon has so far vetoed six bills, and the National Assembly has already voted again on the other four bills, including a pro-labor bill. All four bills failed to pass.

The president is not allowed to veto a bill that has been already struck down and sent back to the Assembly once. But for the Assembly to pass a vetoed bill, it requires at least 151 of the 300 members to be physically present during the revote. Two-thirds of the total must also vote in favor of it. A bill that only requires a simple majority vote to pass the first time around.

The parties on Thursday also reached a last-minute deal on redrawing the electoral district map for the 300-member National Assembly for the upcoming legislative election.

Through the agreement, the total number of seats picked through a proportional representation system will be down by one to 46. Instead, the number of directly-elected regions will be increased by one to 254.

The revision will be voted on in a plenary session.