Choi Moon-ki, a People Power Party preliminary candidate running for Seoul’s Jungnang-eul district in the upcoming general election, introduced himself as a ‘National Assembly Legislative Policy Research Fellow’, sparking controversy in local politics. The main point of controversy is that he is a member of the Legislative Policy Research Association, but he expressed himself as a member of the National Assembly Legislative Policy Research Committee, causing confusion as to whether he was a member of the National Assembly Policy Research Committee. Preliminary candidate Choi’s position is that “the Legislative Policy Research Association has customarily used the term National Assembly Legislative Policy Research Association.” However, even the Legislative Policy Research Council, aware of this controversy, announced that the corporate name must be registered and used accurately, and the National Election Commission also responded that it is possible to violate the election law depending on the facts, so the controversy is expected to grow significantly.
According to the political world on the 12th, preliminary candidate Choi introduced himself as a ‘current National Assembly Legislative Policy Research Fellow’ on his SNS and business cards. However, he does not have a position as a legislative policy research member in the National Assembly. The National Assembly has policy research committee members from each party in accordance with the National Assembly Act and the Legislative Policy Research Association, an incorporated association registered with the National Assembly Secretariat. Among them, preliminary candidate Choi is a member of the Legislative Policy Research Association.
First of all, there is a significant difference in the purpose of establishment and duties between the Policy Research Committee, a negotiating body, and the Legislative Policy Research Association, an association under the jurisdiction of the National Assembly Secretariat to which preliminary candidate Choi belongs. Negotiating group policy research members, generally referred to as policy research members in the National Assembly, assist the legislative activities of members of the negotiating group in accordance with the provisions of Article 34 of the National Assembly Act and are treated as special government officials.
In contrast, the Legislative Policy Research Council, to which preliminary candidate Choi belongs, is an incorporated association under the jurisdiction of the National Assembly Secretariat and is operated autonomously through the corporation’s own resources. Currently, policy research members are not public officials but part-time members. The Legislative Policy Research Association, an incorporated association, appointed preliminary candidate Choi as a policy development committee member on January 1, a month ago.
In response to this, preliminary candidate Choi explained, “It is true that I belong to the Legislative Policy Research Association, but as is customary, I just expressed myself as a legislative policy research member of the National Assembly.” He added, “I received a response that there was no problem when registering as a preliminary candidate with the National Election Commission.”
However, even the Legislative Policy Research Association posted on its website on the 6th, “When registering as a candidate for the National Election Commission, you should use ‘Legislative Policy Research Association,’ ‘Legislative Policy Research Association,’ and ‘Legislative Policy, Inc. (under the jurisdiction of the National Assembly)’ instead of ‘National Assembly Legislative Policy Research Association.’ “The corporate name must be accurately registered and used as ‘Research Council’ or ‘Legislative Policy Research Council (under the jurisdiction of the National Assembly)’.” In addition, it explains the purpose by saying, “Please note that this is to prevent disadvantages to the candidate due to unclear organization names or falsified career records when checking the candidate’s career facts in the future.”
An official from the National Election Commission responded by saying, “Depending on the facts, if false information is provided to confuse voters, it may be a violation of election law.”
The policy research committee member of the National Assembly is a high-ranking position with an average annual salary of 100 million won, and controversy arose over that title every time there was an election. During the 18th general election, a prospective candidate who described himself as a member of the National Assembly Policy Research Committee (Vice Minister) was indicted for publishing false information and was fined 800,000 won.
Reporter Kim Geon-ho [email protected]
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