Rival parties likely to tussle over revote on special counsel probe bill

A police officer guards the National Assembly in Yeouido, Seoul, Friday. The Assembly was supposed to hold the opening ceremony for the 22nd Assembly on Friday but postponed it for an undetermined period due to the conflicts between rival parties over a special counsel probe bill on the death of Marine Cpl. Chae Su-geun. Yonhap

The ruling People Power Party (PPP) and the main opposition Democratic Party of Korea (DPK) are poised to argue over the likely revote of a bill on launching a special counsel probe into the death of Marine Cpl. Chae Su-geun, which passed the National Assembly on Thursday and is expected to be vetoed by President Yoon Suk Yeol.

The bill, proposed by DPK lawmakers and supported by other opposition parties due to suspicions that Yoon may have exerted influence to scale down the military’s investigation into the Marine’s death, passed the opposition-controlled Assembly with approval from 189 out of 190 lawmakers present at the plenary session.

Yoon, who has already vetoed a similar bill in May, can return it to the Assembly for a revote within 15 days after the bill was transferred to the 추천 government. This means that Yoon will likely refuse the special counsel probe for the second time amid the first anniversary of Chae’s death. He died during a rescue operation in a flooded area on July 19 last year.

When a vetoed bill returns to the Assembly, its passage requires approvals from two-thirds of attending lawmakers at a plenary session with more than half of registered lawmakers presenting.

If all 300 lawmakers attend, 200 approvals can override the presidential veto. Since the ruling party holds 108 seats while the DPK and other minor opposition parties are all endorsing the special counsel probe, eight approvals among PPP lawmakers will enable the special counsel probe, in theory.

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