Saenuri says it would refuse pro-North UPP reps
The Saenuri members say they will use all measures at their disposal to keep them out of the National Assembly.
“Although we guarantee the freedom of thought regardless of whether they are conservative or liberal, those who refuse South Korea’s political system, especially the pro-North people, are giving wrong answers to questions on their thoughts about North Korea,” he said.
Currently, there’s no legislative way to expel a lawmaker-elect from the parliament, whether he or she is a proportional or geographic representative. Even if a party that a lawmaker belongs to expels him or her from the party, the lawmaker can keep a parliamentary seat as an independent.
The ruling party’s concerns about the UPP’s lawmakers-elect escalated after Representative-elect Lee Sang-kyu, a UPP member who won in Gwanak B District in southern Seoul, dodged a question on North Korea in a televised debate, saying the question is “suffocating the freedom of thought and ideology” on the basis of anti-communist sentiment.
After public uproar over his vague position, Lee said yesterday he still thought the question was “violent.”
“I had my own position on North Korea, but I thought I shouldn’t answer the violent judgment of my thoughts that came from a binary view,” Lee said in an interview with Media Today on Wednesday night.
The UPP’s two emergency councils are opposed to the ruling party’s attempt. UPP’s interim leader Kang Ki-kab said the ruling party’s consideration of expelling their lawmakers from the parliament is “an idea beyond the Constitution,” meaning it is unconstitutional.
By Kim Hee-jin [firstname.lastname@example.org]