Ruling party launches sit-in against impeachment of broadcasting czar

Lawmakers of the ruling People Power Party (PPP) launched a sitin in front of the parliamentary chamber Thursday in protest of the main opposition Democratic Party of Korea’s plan to impeach the chief of the state broadcasting watchdog.

The DPK introduced the motion earlier this week to impeach Korea Communications Commission (KCC) Chairman Lee Dong-kwan and plans to pass it Friday. The DPK accuses Lee of unfair personnel decisions and appointments aimed at increasing government influence over broadcasting stations.

The PPP, which has accused the DPK of seeking Lee’s impeachment for political purposes, had demanded National Assembly Speaker Kim Jin-pyo not open a plenary meeting Thursday, saying the meeting had originally been scheduled to only handle the government’s 2024 budget.

But the speaker opened the meeting and allowed the impeachment motion to be reported before the Assembly, paving the way for its passage Friday. The DPK can approve the motion on its own as it has a controlling majority in the 298-member Assembly with 168 seats.

Before launching the sit-in, PPP lawmakers held a protest in front of the speaker’s office.

The PPP plans to continue the sitin in front of the National Assembly chamber until Friday’s plenary meeting.

The clash over the position of the broadcasting watchdog chief is widely believed to be part of efforts by the rival parties to put themselves in better positions ahead of April’s parliamentary elections in consideration of the huge influence that broadcasting stations have over voters.

The DPK also plans to put to a vote two impeachment motions against prosecutors Friday.






The Korea Times Co.