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Democratic Party rejects arrest warrant bill for Lee Jae-myung

Democratic Party rejects arrest warrant bill for Lee Jae-myung

Posted March. 23, 2023 07:51,   

Updated March. 23, 2023 07:51


The Democratic Party of Korea, which had got an arrest warrant bill for its Chairman Lee Jae-myung “by consensus,” showed a different stance towards an arrest motion for ruling People Power Party lawmaker Ha Young-jae. The main opposition party simply rehashed stereotypical statements that it would let party members vote independently without determining a majority opinion on either approval or rejection of the motion.

According to the National Assembly on Wednesday, the Ministry of Justice submitted a request for consent to the arrest of Ha, against whom an arrest warrant has been issued on the charge of receiving illegal political contributions. The request for consent to the arrest will be presented to the plenary session on Thursday and voted on at the plenary session on March 30.

"Each lawmaker would vote according to their opinions and there is no need for consensus decision-making," the Democratic Party’s chief deputy floor leader Jin Seong-joon said in an interview with SBS Radio on Wednesday. Four-term lawmaker Woo Sang-ho said illegal campaign contributions are a typical political corruption case, and [Rep. Ha] should be punished if the charges turn out to be true. However, a first-time DP lawmaker who requested anonymity said if the arrest motion for Rep. Ha is approved at the plenary session, the Democratic Party will come under fire for being hypocritical, evidenced by the DP’s teamwork in defending Chairman Lee Jae-myung. “If the arrest motion is passed, it will deal a huge blow to the Democratic Party,” the DP lawmaker said.

It has been reported that the ruling People Power Party, which demanded DP Chairman Lee give up the non-arrest privilege, will likely approve the arrest motion. "Some ruling party lawmakers argue that they should approve the motion at the party level to prevent the DP from getting away with its attempt to water down the systematic defensive scheme to protect the DP leader," said a PPP lawmaker who requested anonymity. Some ruling party lawmakers have decided to make a public promise that they would give up the non-arrest privilege. Rep. Ha asked his fellow PPP lawmakers to vote against his arrest motion by sending text messages the previous day. The prosecution applied for an arrest warrant against Rep. Ha on the charge of taking bribes in return for helping to nominate preliminary candidates for the 2022 general elections.

Hoon-Sang Park tigermask@donga.com · Dong-Joo Cho djc@donga.com