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‘Party membership suspended’ Lee pdismisses voluntary resignation

‘Party membership suspended’ Lee pdismisses voluntary resignation

Posted July. 11, 2022 14:17,   

Updated July. 11, 2022 15:26


Chairman Lee Jun-seok of the ruling People Power Party (PPP) declined to voluntarily resign, claiming the party's severe punishment of 'suspending party membership for six months.' With the debate over the interpretation of the party rules and the public opinions for and against the degree of disciplinary action divided, Chairman Lee and Floor Leader Kwon Seong-dong are meeting the issue head-on over the direction of the party's leadership, expecting internal troubles to brew in full swing sooner than later. President Yoon Suk-yeol's approval rating fell to the 30 percent range within two months of taking office amid the unprecedented internal battles in which the ruling party leader lost the authority to perform his duties.

Chairman Lee said on Friday he could not accept the disciplinary decision of the party’s Ethics Committee, and mobilized all his authority as the party leader to put the situation on hold. "The right to discipline as a result of disciplinary action following the Ethics Committee rests with the party leader," Chairman Lee said at a radio show. "I plan to hold up the disciplinary action." He said that he would not hesitate to take the case to court, by requesting a retrial against the decision of the Ethics Committee and filing an injunction to suspend the disciplinary action.

In response, Floor Leader Kwon directly presided over the Supreme Committee, which is the job of the party leader, saying, "I will do what I can within my power to resolve the confusion as soon as possible as the acting chairman of the party pursuant to the party rules." As Lee's job has been suspended, he believes that the second-in-command floor leader should assume the role of acting party leader. On the same day, Floor Leader Kwon met with senior presidential secretary Lee Jin-bok and discussed the direction of the party's leadership.

With respect to the method of establishing the next leadership within the party, ideas have already been pouring in, such as a plan for Floor Leader Kwon to maintain the acting chairman, or to hold an early party convention to elect a new chairman, and a switch to adopt the emergency steering committee system.

Dong-Joo Cho djc@donga.com