Parties Apologize over Parliament's Special Activity Funds

Write : 2018-07-05 17:41:29 Update : 2018-07-05 17:54:28

Parties Apologize over Parliament's Special Activity Funds

South Korea's ruling and opposition parties have apologized over the controversial extra budgets parliament was found to have used without public disclosure for more than two decades. 

Hong Young-pyo, floor leader of the ruling Democratic Party(DP), told reporters on Thursday that the “special activity funds” are indispensable for the operation of the National Assembly. 

However, he said the assembly will reform to live up to the public's expectations and try to be as transparent as possible about the funds’ usage. 

The floor leader of the largest opposition Liberty Korea Party(LKP), Kim Sung-tae, proposed the National Assembly create a special committee so parliament and every other public organization in the country are forced to disclose their special activity funds’ usage and how they plan to revise related systems. 

Kim Kwan-young, the floor leader of the Bareunmirae Party, echoed Kim’s remarks, saying other organizations should also be scrutinized over how they spend their special activity funds. 

Choi Kyung-hwan, a spokesman for the Party for Democracy and Peace, called for institutional reform, such as reducing the budgets for the special activities. 

Roh Hoe-chan, the floor leader of the Justice Party, proposed a bill seeking to abolish the special activity funds for the lawmakers. The members of the minor progressive party as well as some lawmakers from the DP and other opposition parties except for the LKP also signed the bill. 

The assembly has come under criticism after a local civic group unveiled earlier in the day that ranking parliamentary leaders have received some 60 million won worth of special activity funds every month, for which they didn't have to file receipts. 

The disclosure of the funds’ usage, which has been given to the lawmakers since 1994, was only made after a recent Supreme Court ruling in favor of a request by the People's Solidarity for Participatory Democracy(PSPD) to have the assembly's funds usage be revealed.

[Photo : YONHAP News]

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