National Assembly Ethics Committee decides on the expulsion of Park Deok-heum, Lee Sang-jik, and Yoon Mi-hyang

Appearance of the National Assembly plenary session (regardless of the content of the article)|National Assembly Photo Reporters

The National Assembly Ethics Review Advisory Committee decided to propose to the National Assembly Ethics Special Committee on the 5th that Rep. Park Deok-heum, Lee Sang-jik, and Yoon Mi-hyang should be expelled from their seats.

An advisory committee official said in a phone call with the Kyunghyang Shinmun that day, “It has been decided to recommend the ‘expulsion’ of the three lawmakers to the special committee.” The Advisory Committee is an advisory body of the Special Ethics Committee in charge of reviewing the qualifications and disciplinary action of members of the National Assembly. It consists of 8 outsiders.

Earlier, on November 11, last year, the Special Ethics Committee proposed a proposal for disciplinary action against the three lawmakers and referred them to the advisory committee. A disciplinary measure was proposed for Rep. Yoon for misappropriation of donations from Japanese military comfort women victims, and for Rep. Lee for alleged misappropriation and embezzlement of Eastar Jet. Rep. Park is suspected of winning hundreds of billions of dollars worth of construction orders from the audited body by a family company.

The advisory committee must complete its deliberation within one month and submit its opinion to the special committee, but it is reported that the review period has been extended by another month due to problems with securing data such as the prosecution’s indictment.

The advisory committee plans to formally submit a disciplinary opinion to the special ethics committee soon. The Special Ethics Committee passes the matter back to the Disciplinary Review Subcommittee for deliberation, and then decides whether or not to take disciplinary action and the level of disciplinary action at the general meeting. If the special committee approves the disciplinary bill, it is presented to the plenary session of the National Assembly for resolution and finally confirmed.

The expulsion that the advisory committee decided to recommend to the special ethics committee on that day is the highest level of severe disciplinary action among members of the National Assembly law stipulated in the National Assembly Act. It is unclear whether the expulsion opinion will become a reality. In the 20th National Assembly, a total of 21 disciplinary measures were submitted to the Special Ethics Committee, but none were passed. The disciplinary measures that the Special Ethics Committee established in 1991 have passed so far are only two disciplinary measures: former lawmaker Kang Yong-seok, who caused controversy over sexual harassment remarks by announcers in 2011, and former lawmaker Shim Hak-bong, who was investigated for sexual assault in 2015. Among them, the only disciplinary bill that was finally dealt with at the plenary session was former lawmaker Kang Yong-seok.

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