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DP to push for a motion to dismiss interior minister

Posted December. 08, 2022 07:53,   

Updated December. 08, 2022 07:53


The Democratic Party of Korea reaffirmed its stance to push for a motion to dismiss Interior and Safety Minister Lee Sang-min by Friday, the date the regular session of the National Assembly ends. Should President Yoon Suk-yeol refuse to dismiss Lee, the DP said, they will move on to introduce an impeachment bill.

The Democratic Party convened a general meeting on Wednesday and determined to report a motion to dismiss Minister Lee on Dec. 8 and approve it during the plenary session on Dec. 9. The motion to dismiss was tabled a week ago but has not been reported to the plenary session as the plenary session scheduled on Dec. 1 and 2 fell through. Under the National Assembly Act, a motion to dismiss is automatically reported to the plenary session that first opens after the motion is taken, which should then be voted on between 24 and 72 hours after that.

DP Floor Leader Rep. Park Hong-geun met with reporters after the general meeting and said that DP lawmakers have agreed to push for an impeachment bill if Minister Lee does not resign and President Yoon refuses to dismiss the minister even after the motion is taken and the investigation takes place. As was the case with Foreign Minister Park Jin, DP lawmakers plan to vote on the impeachment bill in preparation for President Yoon’s immediate dismissal of the motion to dismiss Minister Lee.

Earlier, the Presidential Office announced that it would refuse to accept the motion. DP Vice Floor Leader Jin Sung-joon criticized the Presidential Office for stating its intention to dismiss the motion even before it was officially reported. “[The Presidential Office’s reaction] does not merit to be called democrats. Even if the motion is called a ‘recommendation,’ the Constitution of the Republic of Korea advocates for pluralism, and it has its worth. They have no right to disregard it as they please,” Mr. Jin said.

The ruling People Power Party strongly criticized the DP’s general meeting result. “To pass a budget bill is more urgent than to process a motion to dismiss Minister Lee,” the PPP stated. Park Jung-ha, the chief spokesperson of the PPP, disparaged the DP’s motion as a “sly strategy to get an upper edge on the political fight,” which he said is far from the effort to find out the truth over the Itaewon crowd crush and prevent its recurrence. “The DP is threatening us to pass the motion to dismiss the minister at the time when a more urgent budget bill has not been processed,” the spokesperson said.

“The Presidential Office will comment on the motion after an investigation is finished and when it deems necessary," an official from the Presidential Office said in a briefing.

Dong-Jun Heo hungry@donga.com