Take Responsibility for Poor Response to Itaewon Disaster
179 out of 293 members present
Impeachment of a member of the State Council for the first time in constitutional history
Lee Sang-min received the prosecution resolution
Suspension of duties pending the decision of the Constitutional Court
On the 8th, the National Assembly passed an impeachment motion against Minister of Public Administration and Security Lee Sang-min, holding him accountable for the Itaewon Halloween disaster. The impeachment of a member of the State Council is the first in the history of the constitution.
The National Assembly passed the motion to impeach Lee with the approval of 179 out of 293 lawmakers present. It passed the majority of the current lawmakers (150 seats), which is a requirement for impeachment. There were 109 votes against and 5 invalid votes. It seems that most of the opposition parties, such as the Democratic Party of Korea (169 seats), which has a majority of seats in the National Assembly, and the Justice Party and Basic Income Party, which co-initiated the agenda, were in favor, and the ruling party, People’s Power lawmakers, voted against it en masse. The vote was held anonymously.
The impeachment of a member of the State Council is the first in the history of the constitution. A total of 6 motions of impeachment were proposed, including for former Minister of Government Administration and Home Affairs Jeong Jong-seop in 2015, 3 for former Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Strategy and Finance Hong Nam-ki in 2019-2020, and 2 for former Justice Minister Choo Mi-ae in 2020, but all of them were discarded or rejected. .
The grounds for impeachment are violations of the Constitution, the State Public Officials Act, and the Disaster and Safety Act. It is said that Minister Lee did not take precautionary measures for the Itaewon Halloween disaster, and even after becoming aware of the disaster, he delayed operating the Disaster Response Headquarters and did not set up a response headquarters. It was also pointed out that he used perjury during the parliamentary investigation and made inappropriate remarks to the bereaved family. Democratic Party lawmaker Kim Seung-won mourned by calling out the names of the victims one by one while explaining the articles of impeachment at the plenary session before the vote.
Members of the People’s Power gathered in front of the main conference hall after the vote and condemned the opposition party for being tyrannical by the majority when it was not a requirement for prosecution.
The Constitutional Court decides whether to impeach Lee. Once the impeachment resolution is served, Minister Lee’s duties will be suspended until a decision is made by the Constitutional Court.