Opposition party demands adoption of special law on ferry tragedy

By 정주원
  • Published : Jul 20, 2014 - 14:39
  • Updated : Jul 20, 2014 - 14:39
The main opposition party on Sunday stepped up its demand for an adoption of a special law aimed at determining the cause of April's deadly ferry sinking amid partisan wrangling over whether to give investigative power to a parliamentary inspection team.

The proposed law calls for the creation of an inspection team to look into the cause of the April 16 disaster that left more than

300 people dead or missing, mostly high school students. The law would also outline measures to provide compensation to families of the victims.

The main opposition New Politics Alliance for Democracy (NPAD) demanded that the ruling Saenuri Party work out an agreement on the contentious issues, warning a failure to do so would bring about strong public backlash.

"If the ruling party once again refuses the special law aimed at investigating the truth behind the tragedy, the party would face severe resistance from the people," Rep. Kim Han-gil, a co-leader of NPAD, said during a press conference at the National Assembly.

While NPAD wants a special judicial police officer appointed to the inspection team to ensure an effective investigation, the ruling party has been opposed to the idea on concerns that it could disturb the judicial order and the division of powers prescribed by the Constitution.

The ruling party has instead proposed appointing an independent special prosecutor who would conduct the investigation at the request of the inspection team.

"It is time for President Park (Geun-hye) to be decisive on the special law to reveal the truth behind the Sewol tragedy," Rep. Ahn Cheol-soo, the other NPAD co-leader, said.

The 6,825-ton ferry Sewol capsized in waters off the country's southwestern coast on April 16 with an estimated 476 people on board, majority of them high school students who were on a field trip. A total of 294 people have been confirmed dead, with 10 others still missing. (Yonhap)