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Democratic party in turmoil as Lee refuses to resign

Posted September. 23, 2023 08:05,   

Updated September. 23, 2023 08:05


Lee Jae-myung, the leader of the Democratic Party, called for “the Democratic Party to gather strength” and added that he will “do his best to make the Democratic Party more democratic,” on Friday, one day after the National Assembly passed a motion to allow the potential arrest of Lee. On the same day, anti-Lee Jae-myung lawmakers demanded the resignation of Lee and the pro-Lee Jae-myung leadership, but Lee made it clear that he had no intention of stepping down.

In a statement released by the party later in the day, Lee, who was hospitalized while on a hunger strike, said, "Please protect the Democratic Party and democracy, the Korean people and the nation beyond beyond my personal situation," adding, "I will continue to believe in the people of Korea and move forward without compromising." He also called for the rallying of supporters, saying, "The Democratic Party's shortcomings should be overcome, reprimanded, and fixed by supporters taking the ownership of the Party." A Democratic Party official said, "His remarks intend that the more the party is in crisis, the more we must unite around Rep. Lee Jae-myung.”

The day before, anti-Lee lawmakers reacted to the resignation of only the anti-Lee leadership, including Park Kwang-on, the floor leader of the party, saying, "Lee and the pro-Lee leadership should also resign and a integrated emergency planning committee should be formed." Rep.Lee Won-wook said on YTN Radio, "Rep. Park, who is not one to take responsibility, is being blamed for everything."

Judge Yoo Chang-hoon is expected to review the arrest warrant for Lee at the Seoul Central District Court next Tuesday at 10 A.M. Rep. Lee is considering whether to appear on that day, but the court may reschedule the hearing in coordination with the prosecution if Lee requests a change in schedule due to his health condition.

Sung-Hwi Kang yolo@donga.com