By Kim Han-joo
SEOUL, June 7 (Yonhap) -- The National Election Commission (NEC) is considering accepting the state auditor's inspection into hiring corruption allegations on a one-off basis, an official said Wednesday, amid mounting pressure from the ruling party and public criticism over the scandal.
The election watchdog has faced increasing suspicions of nepotism after revelations that children of a series of former and current ranking officials were hired. But it has refused to comply with an inspection by the Board of Audit and Inspection (BAI), citing its status as an independent agency.
But the NEC could change its position as public criticism of the agency has shown little signs of abating.
"Commissioners are thinking pretty seriously about a suggestion that it is necessary to accept BAI's inspection of duties on a partial and temporary basis," said an NEC official, who asked not to be named. "Pros and cons vary among the commissioners."
A decision could come as early as Friday, when the NEC is scheduled to hold a board meeting.
The possible shift in stance comes as the ruling People Power Party (PPP) has increased pressure by passing a resolution calling for the resignation of all nine commissioners, including Chairperson Rho Tae-ak, to take responsibility for what it refers to as the "daddy chance."
Earlier Wednesday, PPP lawmakers made a protest visit to the NEC headquarters in Gwacheon, south of Seoul.
Even if the NEC decides to accept a BAI audit, however, it is unlikely for its commissioners to resign.
A survey Yonhap News Agency conducted jointly with Yonhap News TV showed that 73.3 percent of respondents believe Rho should resign from his post. The survey was conducted Saturday and Sunday by Metrix on 1,000 adults aged 18 or older.
NEC Chairperson Rho apologized over the scandal, saying the commission will request a criminal investigation of at least four officials and take steps to prevent similar cases from happening again. Still, Rho has said he has no intention to step down.
The state auditor BAI has threatened to refer NEC officials to investigations if they refuse an audit.
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