The National Assembly on Tuesday approved a nominee for Supreme Court justice, ending weeks of postponement triggered by the ongoing confrontation between rival parties on state offices’ special allowances.
Of the 260 attending lawmakers, 178 voted in favor of the appointment of Lee Ki-taek to the Supreme Court while 74 disapproved and eight abstained in the secret vote.
With the parliament’s approval, Lee will replace Min Young-il, a retiring judge, nearly a month after President Park Geun-hye sought parliamentary endorsement.
Before Park submitted the motion for parliamentary approval, the nominee was recommended by Supreme Court chief Yang Seung-tae.
The parties failed to put the motion to a vote late last month as they continued to lock horns over the main opposition party’s demand to disclose details of special allowances spent by state offices.
The New Politics Alliance for Democracy has been demanding imposing stricter monitoring on the government’s spending on special activities, including the money spent by the National Intelligence Agency. The ruling Saenuri Party has rejected the demand, citing confidentiality concerns of the spy agency’s activities.
Amid persisting disagreement, the parliament also passed a settlement bill on the 2014 budget, passing its legal deadline by more than a week.
The parliament, however, disapproved a nominee for a non-executive board member of the state-run human rights watchdog who was recommended by the main opposition party.
By Cho Chung-un (email@example.com)