Unconvincing rallies for Yoon’s resignation

Home > Opinion > Editorials

print dictionary print

Unconvincing rallies for Yoon’s resignation

Majority opposition lawmakers have abandoned the legislature — despite the urgent task of reviewing the proposed budget for next year to prepare for a global recession — for street protests against the prosecution arrested key confidantes of Democratic Party (DP) Chair Lee Jae-myung. Since the arrests of Jeong Jin-sang, vice chief of staff to Lee, on bribery and corruption charges following another key aide, Kim Yong, deputy head of a DP-affiliated think tank for taking bribes, seven lawmakers loyal to Lee have joined the anti-government candlelight vigil over the weekend. DP floor leader Park Hong-keun said that the lawmakers just took political action on individual levels. But it cannot be appropriate for lawmakers to participate in a massive rally to protest the Yoon Suk-yeol administration when the elected president is just six months in office.

DP lawmakers went on the podium at the rally. They joined the chants demanding President Yoon surrender his seat over his inability to prevent the Itaewon tragedy and his stern determination to bring the DP head to justice due to his alleged corruption. Mentioning the Itaewon tragedy and prosecutorial probes, Rep. Yoo shouted “a broken train must be retired” to demand President Yoon step down.

Such a move can only come out of arrogance from a supermajority party holding 169 seats in the 300-member National Assembly. The president has not committed a major folly deserving impeachment. Although his approval rating is low, that does not justify the call to bring down an elected president. The DP only tries to politicize the Itaewon tragedy to defend its chairman in peril.

The charges on Kim and Jeong — the two confidantes of Lee — are grave. Kim has been accused of receiving 847 million won ($630,677) from Yoo Dong-gyu, former planning director of Seongnam Development Corporation (SDC), Jeong 140 million won from figures related to the Daejang-dong development project. They have been flatly denying the allegations. The two are considered closest to Lee.

After Jeong’s arrest, Lee posted on his social media page the message that the truth will prevail. Lee criticized the prosecution for manipulating the case. But Jeong’s crime counts specified in the arrest warrant are concrete and convincing. Such a vehement counterattack by the head of the DP does not make sense.

To tackle worsening external and internal conditions, lawmakers must deliberate and pass next year’s budget before the Dec. 2 deadline. The fact-finding of the deadly crowd crush in Itaewon should be thorough to come up with preventive measures.

But the DP must not link the prosecution’s investigations to its budgetary review. Opposition lawmakers must commit to their duty in the legislature.
Log in to Twitter or Facebook account to connect
with the Korea JoongAng Daily
help-image Social comment?
lock icon

To write comments, please log in to one of the accounts.

Standards Board Policy (0/250자)