The number of seats held by the Democratic Party of Korea will decrease further from its current figure of 174 as the party decided on Tuesday to expel 12 party members suspected to have been involved in real estate speculation. The party secured 180 seats, including its satellite party members, at the April 15 general election last year but lost 18 members in 14 months, raising criticism for its poor nomination.
The biggest cause of the reduction of the democratic party’s seats was the real estate issue. It turned out that Yang Jeong-sook, a proportional representative, has owned three houses right after the general election and she was removed even before the opening of the 21st National Assembly. Another member Kim Hong-gul was also expelled from the party in September last year due to the suspected activities to underrepresent his real estate. This is why the other members of the ruling party lament continued scandals surrounding the party.
Moreover, Lee Sang-jik, a founder of Eastar Jet and a member of the democratic party, stepped down during the party’s investigation of the airline company’s massive layoffs. “Some of the 12 members expelled from the party might feel like the punishment was excessive. For others, however, members of the party are wondering how they were verified and nominated,” said a member of the party.
Unrelated to the real estate issue, Chairman of the National Assembly Park Byeong-seug left the party in accordance with the National Assembly law banning a chairman from party membership. Yong Hye-in and Cho Jung-hun who joined the Platform Party as members of a minority party returned to the Basic Income Party and Transition Korea, respectively, reducing the number of the democratic party’s seats to 174.
Once all members recommended by the party to leave are removed, the number of the ruling party’s seats will drastically decrease to 162. In such a case, the Democratic Party of Korea alone cannot meet the fast-track requirement of an agreement by over three-fifths of all National Assembly members, or 180 members.
Ji-Hyun Kim firstname.lastname@example.org