Anchor: In a developing story, Rep. Oh Shin-hwan of the minor opposition Bareunmirae Party said he would vote against a plan to fast track a reform bill that would establish an independent body to investigate crimes committed by high-ranking officials. With Oh opposing the passage of reform and election bills, the main opposition party is doing all it can to stop the ruling and minor opposition parties from passing bills that hurt it politically.
Kim Bum-soo has more.
Report: Minor opposition Bareunmirae Party Rep. Oh Shin-hwan has put a damper on the prospect of fast tracking disputed election and reform bills.
He holds a casting vote in the special judiciary reform committee.
Oh said on his Facebook page Wednesday that he would vote against fast tracking the controversial establishment of an investigative agency against corrupt officials.
Just a day earlier, the ruling and minor opposition parties agreed to swiftly pass the bill in a package deal with the controversial election and reform bills despite fierce objection from the main opposition party.
Oh said making revisions to the election laws are not worth pushing ahead without obtaining the consent of the main opposition.
He added that his decision aims to prevent division within his party.
Fast tracking a bill requires the consent of at least eleven out of 18 members of two special parliamentary committees, each focused on electoral reform and the creation of an investigative body.
But with Oh siding with the Liberty Korea Party in the committee, a total of eight will oppose the measure, leaving only ten to vote for the passage. This means the four-party package deal could collapse as well.
The minor opposition Bareunmirae Party is now considering replacing the defiant Oh with another lawmaker in the special judiciary committee.
The Liberty Korea Party believes the proposed election bill will work to the advantage of the ruling Democratic Party and the minor Justice Party to gain more seats. The main opposition also argues that the envisioned investigative authority will be full of progressive lawyers working under the order of the president.
Desperate lawmakers from the main opposition Liberty Korea Party(LKP) visited the speaker of the National Assembly on Wednesday, asking him not to proceed with the minor opposition's plan to replace Oh. The main opposition also asked the speaker not to put the bills to a vote in the event they are fast tracked.
The speaker was hospitalized for shock after a shouting match with LKP lawmakers.
Despite the fierce opposition, Justice Party lawmaker Sim Sang-jeung introduced the new election law.
The judiciary and political reform committees will convene sessions on Thursday to fast track the bills.
Kim Bum-soo, KBS World Radio News.