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Court’s ruling suspends Joo’s duties as emergency committee chief

Court’s ruling suspends Joo’s duties as emergency committee chief

Posted August. 27, 2022 07:33,   

Updated August. 27, 2022 07:33


The ruling People Power Party has been left in an unprecedent chaos since a court put the brakes on the system under five-time lawmaker Joo Ho-young as chairman of the emergency committee. The party will likely go through an elevated level of internal discord, which has resulted from the disciplinary measures taken for former party leader Lee Joon-seok.

The 1st Civil Affairs Division for Panels of Judges in the Seoul Southern District Court ruled in favor of the former PPP leader on Friday, citing a part of his filing for an injunction. It decided that the duties of Rep. Joo should be suspended until the final ruling is issued in the main lawsuit, agreeing that the establishment of this emergency committee has involved procedural errors. The ruling said, “It is hard to say that the PPP is in the middle of any emergency that can justify the setup of an emergency committee.” It concluded that the case does not satisfy any condition stipulated in the Article 96 of the party constitution that shall lead the party to build an emergency committee. Also, the court made it clear that former Chairman Lee will see an irrevocable loss of not being able to return to leadership even after the period during which his party membership is suspended is terminated if the party holds a convention to select a new leader. This message intends to say that the party is not supposed to hold a convention to form a new leadership system.

The court’s decision to suspend Joo’s leadership has left the ruling party deeply confused since he took on the job just 17 days ago. Taken aback, Rep. Joo expressed regrets, saying, “Such a judiciary intervention in the party’s independent decision runs counter to the spirits of the Constitution, which upholds the self-governance of political parties in that it negates and defines internal decision-making in the party.” Right after the court’s decision was made, the PPP filed an objection to the results of the filing for an injunction with the court while deciding to appoint PPP floor leader Kwon Seong-dong as acting chairman of the emergency committee. The presidential office did not make any official remarks on the ruling.

Meanwhile, former party leader Lee claimed that the supreme council should consist of supreme council members who have not resigned. Given that party conventions can be held under the emergency committee while they are not allowed for with the acting chairman and the supreme council at the helm, Lee maintained that the party should be led by acting chairman’s leadership not by the emergency committee. This way, the gap in opinions about how party leadership is formed signals a prolonged conflict across the ruling party.

“I am waiting for those behind this chaos to make responsible comments,” Lee said on the phone with The Dong-A Ilbo on Friday, mincing no words in criticizing key leaders close to President Yoon Suk-yeol. Heading toward North Gyeongsang Province on Friday night, Lee will meet voters in person across the region including Daegu, the traditional stronghold of conservatives, to gain the upper hand in public opinions.

Sang-Jun Han alwaysj@donga.com