Rival parties reach compromise on ferry bills

October 31, 2014
Rep. Lee Wan-koo, right, floor leader of the ruling Saenuri Party, and his counterpart Woo Yoon-keun of the main opposition New Politics Alliance for Democracy walk out of a National Assembly conference room, Friday, after they agreed on three Sewol-related bills. (Yonhap)

Rep. Lee Wan-koo, right, floor leader of the ruling Saenuri Party, and his counterpart Woo Yoon-keun of the main opposition New Politics Alliance for Democracy walk out of a National Assembly conference room, Friday, after they agreed on three Sewol-related bills. (Yonhap)

Coast Guard, emergency agency to be scrapped

By Kang Hyun-kyung

The chief negotiators of the ruling Saenuri Party and the main opposition New Politics Alliance for Democracy (NPAD) finally agreed on details of three Sewol-related bills, Friday. The two sides agreed to pass the bills during the National Assembly plenary session next Friday.

The bipartisan agreement came 199 days after the ferry sank in waters off the southwestern island of Jindo, claiming over 300 lives.

The three bills call for a thorough, independent investigation into the causes of the maritime disaster, the scrapping of the Coast Guard and the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), and the banning of profits earned through criminal activities regarding the sinking.

Rep. Lee Wan-koo, floor leader of the Saenuri Party, and his NPAD counterpart Woo Yoon-keun reached the agreement late in the day, nearly four hours after they sat down for talks to narrow their differences on major issues.

The two floor leaders agreed to form an investigative committee consisting of 17 members, a subcommittee in charge of fact-finding and the appointment of an independent counsel.

The families of the victims of the maritime tragedy will select the chairman of the committee.

The Saenuri Party will appoint the vice chairman, while the main opposition NPAD will choose the head of the subcommittee.

The committee will conduct an investigation for one year after it is established, which can be extended for six months. They will work on a white paper detailing their findings for the following three months.

The fact-finding committee will hold hearings if members agree they are needed. Those who are called upon to appear for questioning must attend. If they refuse to do so without giving any convincing reason or refuse to take an oath as witnesses, they will be subject to a fine or other punishment.

An independent council will be appointed with the consent of the families to indict those who are responsible.

The two parties agreed to scrap the Coast Guard and NEMA whose functions will be consolidated under a safety agency to be created under the Prime Minister’s Office.

The chief negotiators of the Saenuri Party and the NPAD had sat down numerous times in an attempt to reach an agreement on the bills. But they failed as they played the Sewol card in the local elections in June and by-elections in July.

The main opposition party called for allowing the fact-finding committee to investigate and even indict those who were responsible for the tragedy, which was rejected by the Saenuri Party.

In August, the two sides reached an initial agreement calling for the creation of a committee to select the independent council to investigate the disaster, including three members from the families of the victims. but this was rejected by the families.

The rival parties came to a second agreement, which was again rejected by the families.

During the lackluster, prolonged negotiations, the NPAD saw a leadership change.

After seasoned politician Moon Hee-sang took over the post, negotiations resumed, which finally led to the agreement.

moose knuckles pas cher moose knuckles pas cher moose knuckles pas cher moose knuckles pas cher moose knuckles pas cher moose knuckles outlet moose knuckles outlet moose knuckles outlet moose knuckles outlet moose knuckles outlet maillot de foot pas cher maillot de foot pas cher maillot de foot pas cher maillot de foot pas cher maillot de foot pas cher scarpe nike air max outlet scarpe nike air max outlet scarpe nike air max outlet scarpe nike air max outlet scarpe nike air max outlet scarpe nike air max outlet nike tn pas cher nike tn pas cher nike tn pas cher nike tn pas cher air max pas cher air max pas cher stone island outlet stone island outlet stone island outlet stone island outlet stone island outlet stone island outlet barbour pas cher barbour pas cher barbour pas cher barbour pas cher barbour pas cher nike tn squalo nike air max outlet mcm outlet online moose knuckles outlet happiness outlet happiness outlet shoes