Motion to dismiss PM scrapped after ruling party's boycott
A controversial motion to dismiss Prime Minister Kim Hwang-sik over the mishandling of a military pact with Japan was automatically scrapped on Friday after the ruling Saenuri Party boycotted the vote, officials said.
The motion was put to a plenary vote in the 300-member National Assembly earlier in the day, but the vote was declared invalid due to a lack of quorum as the Saenuri Party, which holds 149 seats, walked out of the voting session. Only 138 lawmakers cast their ballots.
Assembly Speaker Kang Chang-hee said, "I declare that the vote for this motion is not valid because of a lack of quorum."
Kang decided to put the motion to plenary session vote as the Saenuri Party and the main opposition Democratic United Party (DUP) failed to narrow their differences on how to deal with the bill, the officials said.
The DUP submitted the motion earlier this week after holding Kim responsible for mishandling a military intelligence exchange agreement with Japan.
The Cabinet approved the pact behind closed doors, drawing mounting public criticism for cooperating with the former colonial ruler.
The public anger eventually forced Seoul to delay the signing of the deal with Tokyo at the last minute.
A majority approval, 151 votes out of 300 lawmakers, is needed for the motion to pass.
The ruling Saenuri Party has 149 seats, followed by the DUP with 127, the minor opposition Unified Progressive Party with 13, another minor party and independent lawmakers with 11. (Yonhap)