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Parliament holds last hearing session for Constitutional Court chief nominee

All Headlines 11:07 June 08, 2017

SEOUL, June 8 (Yonhap) -- The National Assembly on Thursday held the last session of a two-day confirmation hearing for Constitutional Court Chief nominee Kim Yi-su amid a continued controversy over his ideological orientations.

Opposition lawmakers took issue with his ruling against a pro-democracy protester in 1980 and his view against the disbandment of a far-left party in 2014. But the ruling Democratic Party defended him, saying there is no "definitive defect" in the nominee.

His official appointment requires consent from a majority of the lawmakers present for the floor vote that can be set up by a majority of all 299 legislators. The ruling party holds only 120 parliamentary seats.

Since 2012, Kim has served as part of the court's nine-member bench. Last month, President Moon Jae-in nominated him for the top post left vacant since former Court Chief Park Han-chul retired in January.

During the hearing Wednesday, Kim apologized over the allegations that he was at the forefront of judicial punishments for those who participated in the 1980 pro-democracy movement in Gwangju, 350 kilometers south of Seoul. He also pledged to pursue national cohesion.

But his opponents said that it is inappropriate to have him helm the court given that Moon has vowed to enshrine the spirits of the popular movement in the Constitution by amending the basic law.

On Friday, rival parties are expected to determine whether to adopt a joint report on the outcome of the hearing. Should the report be issued, the confirmation motion could be put to a vote at a plenary session slated for next Monday.

Constitutional Court chief nominee Kim Yi-su attends a parliamentary confirmation hearing at the National Assembly in Seoul on June 8, 2017. (Yonhap)

sshluck@yna.co.kr
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