DP presses assembly speaker to open plenary session to pass motion to dismiss interior minister

SEOUL– The main opposition Democratic Party (DP) vowed to pass a motion calling for the dismissal of Interior Minister Lee Sang-min on Friday, urging the National Assembly speaker to hold a plenary session.

The motion, which was introduced last week, was reported to the National Assembly on Thursday. A vote must take place within 72 hours after the motion was reported at a plenary session, and otherwise, it is automatically scrapped.

The DP has been working to put the dismissal motion to a vote Friday but the PPP has been pushing back, saying a plenary session should not open when the rival parties have yet to reach a deal on the government budget proposal for next year.

“The speaker should host a plenary session today, as he promised before, to handle the motion to dismiss Interior Minister Lee Sang-min,” Rep. Park Hong-geun, the DP floor leader, said in a party meeting.

The ruling People Power Party (PPP) and the DP have been stuck in a parliamentary deadlock over the Yoon Suk-yeol government’s first budget plan and the dismissal motion against the interior minister over the bungled government response to the Itaewon crowd crush that killed 158 people.

Last week, the Assembly missed the legal deadline to pass the first annual budget plan drawn up by the Yoon administration since it came to power in May, leaving the parties until Friday to handle the proposal within the Assembly’s regular session.

“It will be more difficult to uncover the truth or seek accountability for those responsible if minister Lee, who holds overall responsibility, keeps his place,” Park said, calling on the PPP to deal with the budget plan and the dismissal motion separately.

Park also noted the DP will submit an independent budget plan later in the day if the PPP does not agree to scale back the budget proposal before the plenary session kicks off.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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