No vote taken on expulsion of KangThe National Assembly yesterday failed to vote on punishments against lawmakers for their ethics breaches - including Representative Kang Yong-seok, whose expulsion had been recommended for sexually inappropriate remarks he made to students - when a subcommittee on disciplinary actions was unable to raise a quorum.
The disciplinary subcommittee of the Ethics Committee opened a meeting yesterday to decide on punitive measures against 30 lawmakers including Kang. Of the eight members on the subcommittee, only five attended, making it unable to proceed with a vote.
For the subcommittee to vote on the ethics panel’s earlier recommendation to expel Kang, two thirds of the lawmakers must participate in the vote. With one lawmaker short, the subcommittee was unable to raise the quorum.
The subcommittee is comprised of four Grand Nationals, three Democrats and one lawmaker from the Liberty Forward Party. DP Representative Baek Won-woo and LFP Representative Lim Young-ho did not attend the meeting, citing busy schedules.
Representative Lee Eun-jae of the GNP came to the meeting but left the room because the subcommittee was also to deliberate on a disciplinary action against him. Although Lee had said he would join the session for the other voting, the subcommittee ended its meeting after 30 minutes.
The subcommittee also failed to vote on punitive actions against the other 29 lawmakers yesterday because of a lack of quorum. While the subcommittee needs a majority to hold voting on disciplinary measures other than expulsion, Representative Lee and Representative Kang Gi-jung of the DP were not able to cast ballots because they were among the 29 to be punished.
Of the six who showed up, two were unable to join the voting, thus the remaining four were not enough to make the majority of the eight-member subcommittee.
Although leaders of the ruling and opposition parties were allowed to replace members of the subcommittee in advance to prevent such a situation, no action was taken.
The subcommittee rescheduled a meeting for April 29 to discuss disciplinary actions against Kang and the 29 other lawmakers, but it remained unclear how the lawmakers would handle the punishments against their colleagues. “We agreed that Representatives Kang and Lee should be replaced,” said Representative Sohn Beom-kyu, head of the subcommittee.
An advisory panel of eight outside members held a meeting last week and recommended the most severe punishment for Kang over lewd remarks made at a dinner with university students in July.
The 41-year-old first-term lawmaker who represents Mapo B District, reportedly told a female student who aspired to be a broadcaster that she’d have to “go all the way” to succeed. Kang has been criminally charged with insult, libel and false accusations.
By Ser Myo-ja [email@example.com]
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국회 윤리특위, 강용석 ‘제명 징계안’ 무산
강용석 의원 제명 징계안이 결국 무산됐다.
국회 윤리특별위원회는 21일 징계심사 소위원회 열어 강용석(무소속) 의원에 대한 `제명` 의결을 처리하려 했지만 정족수 부족으로 무산됐다.
징계심사소위는 이날 비공개로 열린 회의에서 강 의원을 제명하는 내용의 징계안을 상정했지만 의결정족수에 1명 모자라는 5명의 소위 위원만 참석하는 바람에 의결하지 못했다.
`제명` 의결을 위해선 재적의원(8명)의 3분의2 이상(6명)이 찬성해야 하지만 이날 회의에는 소위 위원중 한나라당 이은재, 민주당 백원우, 자유선진당 임영호 의원 등 3명이 개인 일정과 4.27 재보선 선거운동 지원 등의 이유로 불참했다.
이 가운데 이은재 한나라당 의원은 회의에 참석했다가 본인의 징계안이 상정돼 있다는 것을 보고 퇴장했다.
윤리특위 징계소위는 이날 강 의원뿐 아니라 29명의 국회의원 징계안을 의결할 예정이었지만 한 건도 의결하지 못했다.
징계소위는 강용석 의원 뿐만 아니라 국회 본회의장 내 폭력사건으로 물의를 빚은 한나라당 김성회, 민주당 강기정 의원 등을 대상으로 한 36건의 징계안에 대해서도 의결하지 않았다.
징계소위는 29일 회의를 다시 열고 강 의원 징계안 등 37건의 징계안을 재상정해 추가 논의를 할 방침이지만 특위에 속한 의원들의 태도가 소극적이어서 징계 여부는 여전히 불투명하다.