President Lee Myung-bak is carefully considering using his veto power against a controversial revision to the political fund law passed by a parliamentary committee last week to practically legalize lobbying towards lawmakers, a ranking presidential aide said Monday.
After failing to pass the revision through parliament due to strong opposition from the public at the end of last year, the National Assembly Committee on Public Administration and Security approved the bill only 10 minutes after it was put to vote on Friday.
Under the bill, lawmakers can face legal punishment only when it is clear that political funds they received were from an organization, not individuals.
"The people, in a word, view the revision as a retrospective legislation to offer immunity from criminal responsibility for those involved in legislative lobbying," the aide told Yonhap News Agency by phone.
"There are some opinions inside the presidential office that the timing of effectuating the bill should be delayed until after the expiry of the incumbent parliamentary term," the official said.
Also sparking public furor is the fact that the parliamentary committee skipped an open discussion in the deliberation procedures, he said.
"Some in the government say the president must yield his veto power against the bill," the official added.
The bill was sent to the parliamentary committee on legislation and judiciary for further discussion. The committee is expected to report it to the main floor session set to open later this week for final approval. (Yonhap News)