Confirmation for Constitutional justice repealedThe National Assembly yesterday voted down a confirmation bill for Constitutional Court justice nominee Cho Yong-whan, a liberal-leaning lawyer recommended by the opposition party, protracting a vacancy on the nine-member bench.
In a secret ballot held during the plenary session, the unicameral parliament rejected the nomination bill with 115 votes in favor and 129 against. There were nine blank ballots.
The 53-year-old lawyer was nominated as the new judge for the Constitutional Court in June last year. The bill, however, has been pending in the parliament for months as his ideological stance came under attack by the ruling party, leaving the nine-member bench incomplete for over seven months.
During a confirmation hearing, which is largely seen as a formality, ruling party lawmakers took issue with Cho’s remarks on the sinking of the Cheonan warship in March 2010 and false address registration.
Cho questioned the credibility of the Seoul-led international probe that concluded North Korea torpedoed the ship, killing 46 sailors aboard. Pyongyang denied its responsibility in the incident. The main opposition Democratic United Party (DUP) accused the ruling Saenuri Party of further delaying seating a new judge in the Constitutional Court.
“It’s disappointing,” the DUP spokeswoman Kim Yoo-jung said at a briefing. Yonhap