National Assembly set to vote on motion calling for dismissal of interior minister

SEOUL– The National Assembly was set to vote Sunday on a motion calling for the dismissal of Interior Minister Lee Sang-min over the bungled government response to the deadly Itaewon crowd crush.

The motion, introduced last week by the main opposition Democratic Party (DP), was reported to the National Assembly on Thursday and was scheduled to be put to a vote at a plenary parliamentary session at 10 a.m.

A vote must take place within 72 hours after a motion is reported at a plenary session or it is automatically scrapped, according to the National Assembly law.

Lee has been under daunting pressure to step down as the head of the interior ministry in charge of supervising the police and the fire agencies to take responsibility for the bungled response to the crowd crush that killed 158 people on Oct. 29.

The ruling People Power Party, which has opposed the motion, plans to hold a general meeting of its lawmakers to discuss how to respond to the DP’s push for a vote. PPP lawmakers are expected to boycott the session or walk out of the assembly hall en mass in protest right before the vote.

The motion requires backing from at least 150 lawmakers, and the DP has 169 seats in the 299-member Assembly.

Even if the motion passes, President Yoon Suk-yeol is widely expected to reject it.

The DP has threatened to impeach the minister if Yoon rejects the dismissal motion.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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