Posted December. 20, 2014 05:44,
As five lawmakers of the United Progressive Party (UPP) lost their membership of the assembly, the number of the 19th National Assembly lawmakers, which started with 300, will be decreased to 298 until the 20th general election to be held in April 2016. The Public Official Election Act stipulates the seats that became vacant due to disbandment of a political party must be left vacant, without being filled.
UPP lawmakers Kim Jae-yeon and Lee Seok-ki, who were elected through proportional representation, lost their seats due to the courts decision. Rep. Lee is now in jail on charges of conspiring to overthrow the government and violating the National Security Law. In the appeal trial in February, Lee was sentenced to nine years in prison and suspended from parliament for seven years.
In the past case of lawmakers elected through proportional representation, when election became invalid due to election offense besides the disbandment of a political party, the Public Official Election Act did not allow to fill in the vacant seat. Under the act revised in 2010, however, vacancy is filled only in cases where a political party is disbanded or a lawmakers term is left less than 120 days.