PSPD English Newsletter, March 2020
- 2020.03.27 (01:59:09)
This Month of PSPD
PSPD made a calculator for the seats in the National Assembly
People's Solidarity for Participatory Democracy (PSPD), the vanguard of the electoral reform movement. Despite all those efforts made by PSPD in the year of 2018 and 2019 in order to introduce a completely Mixed-Member Proportional Representation, it has been regressed to 50% interlocking proportional during the National Assembly. Besides, it has been deteriorated that only 30 out of 47 proportional seats will be applied to this election.
What the problems are that neither the voice of the citizens will be fully reflected on the election, nor will the result of the election be anticipated. As we were worried about which people are getting indifferent about the election, we made a calculator for the seats in the National Assembly. Many citizens supported and praised what we did.
The citizens older than the age of 18 will have the right to vote from the upcoming election. Therefore, by planning a serial campaign, ‘Fully understanding the election and the vote,’ PSPD encourages the voters, including those who will get the right to vote for the first time in life, to learn a new election system and to internalize the meaning of election.
Suggesting a follow-up task for the Personal Information Protection Act (PIPA)
February 17th, PSPD submitted <The civil society statement suggesting follow-up task of deformed Personal Information Protection Act>, in association with other CSOs to the Ministry of the Interior and Safety.
Personal information became sellable without an agreement of its owner because the National Assembly deformed the PIPA at the end of last year. This act ought to be amended. We, PSPD, and other CSOs composed the statement so that the risk of personal information infringement may be minimized before August 5th, the implementation day of this deformed act.
The Personal Information Protection Committee (PIPC), which will be newly established, should be independent. In addition, based on the fact that the government used to be indulged to utilize personal information, the statement contains the very point that the PIPC should take the lead to set the guideline for personal information protection. We set the level of pseudonymization as it nearly becomes anonymized. Moreover, we requested to immediately begin discussing amendment of the vague regulations just as setting the boundary for scientific research excluding commercial research.
Activity to Impeach the Incumbent Judge Involved in a Judiciary Scandal
Not only the former supreme court judge, Yoo Hae Young, has been acquitted in last January, but other judges, Seong Chang Ho, Shin Kwang Yeol, Cho Ui Yeon and Lim Seong Geun have been acquitted in February.
A judge, Lim Seong Gun, had decided, “I acknowledge that a trial intervention actually happened, and it was unconstitutional. Yet, I do not think it is a sin from the judicial perspective.” Based on it, PSPD confirmed the fact that the court did not properly function to punish those judges who had been involved in a judiciary scandal. Furthermore, the Supreme Court declared to let the suspected judges back to work from March 1st. This is nothing but an untrustworthy decision letting the citizens down.
PSPD Center for Judicial Watch condemned the action of the Supreme Court. It also co-hosted the press conference with the politicians from several parties in order to urge the National Assembly to impeach the judges related to the judiciary scandal. As the National Assembly hesitated to take action, of the former judges, who had been pointed out for impeachment, Kim Jong Bok, Lee Kyu Jin, and Yoon Seong Won already retired upon expiration of term. The former deputy chief of the court administration, Lim Jong Hyun, and the former supreme court judge, Yang Seung Tae, keep making their trial postponed on purpose.
The National Assembly has to begin reforming the court before it is too late so as to impeach the guilty judges and to prevent scandal happening again. PSPD will continuously make sure the National Assembly is on the right track and be monitoring the trial of judiciary sandals with the citizens.
The 3rd Factbook – A Special Activity Funds of The National Intelligence Service (NIS)
Nam Jae Jun, Lee Byung Ki, and Lee Byung Ho, who were the NIS chiefs during the Park Geun Hye administration, offered 3.5 billion Korean Won as special activity funds to Park, the former president, for 5 years, from the year of 2013 to 2017.
PSPD Center for Administrative Watch scrutinized the judiciary statement of the former president and the former NIS chiefs. In addition, according to the facts stemmed from the investigation and trial, PSPD published the Factbook about the special activity funds of NIS. This Factbook specifically contains who gave the money and who received it including the former president, Park Geun Hye. The book also presents the amount of money, why it was offered and how it was relayed.
The 3rd Factbook was published with a precious contribution from 3,959 citizens fundraised by the project, “KaKao Together for Better.” And anyone has access to it.
PSPD urged the National Pension Service (NPS) to exercise the right of the shareholder
Before the general shareholder meeting season in March, PSPD Center for Economic and Financial Justice urged NPS to exercise the right of the shareholder as it is a fiduciary of the citizens’ superannuation, and since it adopted Stewardship Code Trustee Responsibility Principles. There are some factors that made us urge NPS. Governance reform for Hanjin Kal is still an ongoing issue. And the corporate values of Hyosung, Daelim and Samsung C&T have been ruined due to crimes such as embezzlement committed by a director and also because of their wrong management decisions.
PSPD continuously announced the news column and sent out the urgency statements. On the day of the fund management committee meeting, PSPD held a silent protest while holding the pickets saying, “We condemn NPS for ignoring the responsibility of fiduciary! We urge NPS to take action!” Moreover, PSPD urged the NPS to start discussing the direction of voting rights at its general shareholder meeting in March.
The 24th commencement ceremony of the Youth Public Interest Activist School
The 24th participants in the Youth Public Interest Activists school finished their curriculum for six weeks from January 6th and had the commencement ceremony on February 13th. There were 16 youths in total; all of them were eager to participate in what was going on around the world.
The participants had lectures and debates about various themes such as democracy, human rights, labor, and politics. Choosing the topics related to the matters of daily life and social issues to take action, even designing the methodology of the campaign, the participants had fruitful experiences.
The Evaluation of each political party’s 21st election pledge about housing right
As the election is just around the corner, each political party presents a campaign pledge regarding residence and real estate. The Korean NGOs for Realization of Housing Rights including PSPD held a discussion meeting on the campaign pledges from the Democratic Party, the Liberty Korea Party, the Justice Party and the Democracy and Peace Party. During the discussion, analysis and evaluation were processed. The pledge from the Democratic Party is limited to the group of people like youth and newlyweds, and it only argues an incensement in housing supply without residential welfare. The pledge from the Liberty Korea Party defames the public rental housing, and it only supports the individuals who possess the expensive houses that cost more than 900 million Korean won and the houses in Seoul and the 1st new town. The pledge from the Justice Party is acceptable on the contract renewal claim and the rental ceiling, but it is regrettable on the absence of tenant protection measures like introducing a fair rental fee and the mandatory chartered guarantee insurance. The pledge from Democracy and Peace Party may be encouraging for the middle class if one million 66 sqm. apartments would be supplied in the next 10 years with half of the price, but the feasibility and the side effect of it should be examined.
On February 17th, PSPD judged the parties and candidates that provoked real estate speculation and asset inequality and launched “the 2020 General Election Solidarity for Housing Right” from which the residential civil group founded in order to protect the rights of tenants and the residential right in the 21st National Assembly. PSPD will be fulfilling tasks such as inquiry on policy, information disclosure, and voting campaign until the election day, on April 15th.