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Opposition Parties Set to Impeach President Roh

Posted March. 08, 2004 22:19,   


Two opposition parties, the Grand National Party (GNP) and the Millennium Democratic Party (MDP), plan to file a motion to impeach President Roh Moo-hyun on March 9 and put it to a vote in a National Assembly session as early as March 10.

However, the pro-president Uri Party said it would stop the proceedings, and the GNP has yet to produce a uniformed voice regarding the impeachment. It is unclear yet whether or not they can set the proceedings into motion on March 9.

Reps. Hong Sa-duck and Yoo Yong-tae, floor leaders of GNP and MDP respectively, agreed to file the motion on March 9 in a meeting of floor leaders of the four major parties at a hotel in Seoul on March 8. As Rep. Kim Geun-tae, Uri Party’s floor leader, said the Uri Party would resort to force to stop the vote on the motion, Rep. Hong requested National Assembly speaker Park Kwan-yong to use his right to mobilize his security detail to protect him.

“About 120 GNP lawmakers and 50 MDP lawmakers, or a total of about 170, will agree to the motion,” MDP spokesperson Kim Young-hwan said.

“The meaning of what I have said has been misunderstood,” Rep. Hong said in a press conference he called on in the late afternoon of March 8, toning down his previous remarks, “The motion will be filed after I receive approval at a general meeting of GNP lawmakers on March 9.”

“This office never said it would ignore the ruling made by the National Election Commission,” said President Roh Moo-hyun in a meeting with his aides, “All I said was about my legal and political position.” Showing his willingness to fight the impeachment attempts, he added, “I cannot just capitulate if they use such a thing as a pretext for impeachment. It is the president’s duty to fight unjust tyranny to defend the constitution and law and order.”

Meanwhile, the floor leaders agreed to pass an amendment on electoral districts as proposed by the Ad Hoc Committee on Political Reform on March 9. However, the MDP, which stopped the first attempt at passage on March 2, still demanded an open vote on the amendment, raising concerns about another clash.