By Kim Han-joo
SEOUL, June 8 (Yonhap) -- Rival political parties agreed Thursday to conduct a parliamentary investigation into the National Election Commission (NEC) over allegations of favoritism in the employment of senior officials' children.
According to the vice floor leaders of both the ruling People Power Party (PPP) and the main opposition Democratic Party (DP), hearings and other investigative activities will be carried out to scrutinize the election watchdog.
Rep. Lee Yang-soo of the PPP told reporters the purpose of the investigation is to uncover the truth behind possible nepotism in the employment process and to prevent similar cases from occurring in the future.
The NEC has faced increasing suspicions of nepotism after revelations that children of at least several senior NEC officials landed agency jobs. But it has refused to comply with an inspection by the state auditor, citing its status as an independent agency.
The parliamentary probe will also delve into allegations that the NEC experienced nearly 40,000 hacking attempts by North Korea last year amid suspicions that the agency failed to detect some of these hacking attempts.
Additionally, the PPP and the DP have agreed to establish a special committee on Japan's planned release of radioactive water from the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant, considering the public concern over health and environmental hazards.
The envisioned committee will also hold hearings that could involve a team of South Korean experts who recently conducted an on-site inspection of the Fukushima site.
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