Seoul to appeal plaza ordinance

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Seoul to appeal plaza ordinance

Seoul Metropolitan Government announced yesterday that it will soon file a lawsuit asking the Supreme Court to nullify the Seoul Metropolitan Council’s decision to allow people to hold rallies and other events at the Seoul Plaza in front of city hall without seeking permission. Previously, the Seoul mayor granted permission.

Seoul Plaza has been a popular venue for cultural events, but political rallies have been banned there since its opening in May 2004.

While opposition Democratic Party councilors argued that the regulation severely infringes on freedom of speech, Seoul city government argued it’s the best way to prevent the plaza from being the stage for violent and politically motivated rallies.

Seoul city government also argued that the revised ordinance conflicts with a higher law, which states that the use of public facilities - roads and parks - requires prior permission from the Seoul city government.

Seoul Metropolitan Council Chairman Heo Kwang-tae, who is from the opposition Democratic Party, vows to follow the revised ordinance.



By Kim Mi-ju [mijukim@joongang.co.kr]

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