[EDITORIALS]Selfish lawmakers

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[EDITORIALS]Selfish lawmakers

The National Assembly has poor standards for handling bills. The Assembly has no consistency in deliberating over bills that call for reform; lawmakers are only concerned with their self-interests. The Assembly's handling of bills to enact a corruption prevention law and to revise the National Assembly Act demonstrates the selfishness of lawmakers.

Several debates have gone on among lawmakers about the corruption prevention act because the law would reinforce the ability of the Korea Independent Commission Against Corruption to investigate public servants and scandals involving the president's family and relatives. The National Assembly's Legislation and Judiciary Committee recently rejected such a proposal, citing that such investigative rights overlap those of the prosecution.

In contrast, the Assembly's special committee on political reform earned a right to order the Board of Audit and Inspection to conduct audits by revising the National Assembly Act. That right had been debated because it critically damages the independence of the audit board.

The two cases may be different, but the implications are similar. The corruption prevention law was handled with strict standards, but lawmakers gladly took the right to demand an audit.

The National Assembly's argument is partially understandable. To prevent corrupt practices by the president's relatives, makes the will of the president more important than simply reinforcing legal monitoring. Strengthening the independent commission's authority may also create some ill effects.

The lawmakers, however, did not apply fair standards when they decided to demand that the audit body do its job. As the Assembly explained, the right to demand the audit board to conduct audits supplements the lawmakers' parliamentary investigations. But the right can also be abused for political purposes.

The National Assembly has vowed to stop political elections from being manipulated by money, and yet it doesn't seem to have a plan to approve relevant enactments and revisions. Koreans are paying close attention to how the Assembly will handle such bills.
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