Six hours after the unprecedented situation in which the incumbent party leader was given a six-month suspension of party membership, floor leader Kwon Seong-dong of the People's Power announced that he would enter the acting system.

In an interview just an hour before that, CEO Lee's angry declaration of dissatisfaction that he would not step down from his position was dismissed, saying, "The disciplinary effect has already taken place."

After a private meeting with the party's top members on the afternoon of the 8th, floor leader Kwon said:

"Since the Party Ethics Committee corresponds to the judiciary in terms of the state, we have no choice but to accept the decision of the Ethics Committee that corresponds to the judiciary."

However, the arguments of Lee and Kwon are sharply opposed over the decision of the Ethics Committee, the judiciary within the party, and the interpretation of the party's constitution and laws, the party constitution and its rules, which are the basis for it.

The party rule that Lee put forward first is Article 30 of the Code of Ethics Committee.

Simply put, 'Because I am the party's representative, disciplinary measures imposed for political reasons can be canceled or suspended through the resolution of the Supreme Council.'

Article 30 (Cancellation or Suspension of Dispositions) The party representative may cancel or suspend disciplinary measures, subject to the resolution of the Supreme Council, in exceptional circumstances.

Conversely, floor leader Kwon shook the foundation of Lee's argument, claiming that as soon as the decision of the disciplinary committee was decided, Lee had already been deprived of his representative authority.

Because this representative is no longer representative, he also has no authority to cancel or suspend disciplinary actions.

Here, CEO Lee countered with Article 23, Paragraph 2 of the Code of Ethics.

The logic is that the disciplinary effect has not yet taken effect because the person has the 'right to take disciplinary action' to make the disciplinary action effective.

Article 23 (Commencement of Disciplinary Procedures and Persons with Authority to Take Disciplinary Actions)

② Dispositions in accordance with the committee's disciplinary decision are made by the

party's representative


a key officer in charge of the commission


The Party Ethics Committee rules stipulate that the 'party representative' or 'the key member of the party who has been delegated' is the person who has the authority to take disciplinary action.

While Chairman Lee gave the interpretation that he also has the right to dispose of disciplinary action and can withhold disciplinary action on his own because he is the representative, while floor leader Kwon said that 'the major delegated official', Lee Yang-hee, chairman of the Central Ethics Committee of the Party, has already represented Lee. That he had exercised his right to disciplinary action.

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If so, who has delegated disciplinary action to Lee Yang-hee, chair of ethics?

An official who worked on the task of auditing the party replied, "In practice, the authority to take disciplinary measures is passed to the party ethics chairperson, and the party representative does not delegate the authority separately."

In particular, he added, "In a case like this, where the party leader is subject to disciplinary action, it is appropriate that Lee Yang-hee, the ethics chairman, not the party chairman, be delegated the right to take disciplinary action," he added.

Conversely, an official from Lee's side said, "The Ethics Committee is one of the party's sub-organizations." Since the party leader has the power to delegate the disciplinary action, the party leader should have officially delegated the disciplinary action to Lee Yang-hee in advance. The side's argument is valid."

There are serious procedural flaws in the disciplinary action itself.

Another party official supported the argument of floor leader Kwon by citing Article 21 of the Code of Ethics.

Article 21 (Types and Procedures of Discipline)

① Disciplinary action is divided into expulsion, solicitation of withdrawal, suspension of party membership, and warning.

Expulsion of party members is confirmed by the resolution of the Supreme Committee after the resolution of the committee, and the removal of members of the National Assembly is confirmed by the approval of two-thirds or more of the members in the general meeting of members after the resolution of the committee.

If a person who has received a disciplinary resolution for the solicitation of resignation fails to submit a report of resignation within 10 days from the date of receiving the notice of the decision on the solicitation of resignation, the committee will not pass the resolution and will be expelled without delay.

④ Party membership is suspended for a period of not less than 1 month and not more than 3 years.

(5) A party member who has not received education provided by the party without justifiable reasons or has not paid party fees for more than three months for one year may suspend the exercise of his/her right as a party member by resolution of the committee.

⑥ If additional disciplinary reasons occur after disciplinary action, a more severe disciplinary action than the previous one, unless there are special circumstances.

Article 21 (2) states that expulsion, which is the strongest level of disciplinary action, must be confirmed through a resolution of the highest level.

Therefore, discipline at a level lower than expulsion has been generally regarded as taking effect immediately after the decision of the Ethics Committee, and it is interpreted that it is a practice.

In particular, this official emphasized that in the case of 'solicitation of withdrawal,' which is the second most severe disciplinary action following expulsion in Paragraph ③, if a notice of disciplinary decision is not made within 10 days of receiving a notice of resignation, the person will be expelled without a resolution by the committee.

In other words, it is the same as the effect of the invitation to withdraw from the party immediately after the decision of disciplinary action.

In general, in the case of suspension of party membership and warnings, it would not require a deeper level of discussion than the 'solicitation to withdraw from the party', and it is considered that it will take effect immediately after the decision of the disciplinary committee, an official from the party office explained.

Regarding the conflicting interpretations, former chairman of the Liberty Korea Party, In Myung-jin, who participated in making these ethics committee regulations in 1995, said in a phone call with SBS reporter, "It is right that the party membership suspension takes effect the moment the ethics committee decides." It cannot be undone."

Nevertheless, since the party constitution and party rules do not stipulate each situation in detail, it seems that each individual has no choice but to interpret by referring to precedents that are advantageous to them.

This raises the possibility that the ball will go outside the National Assembly.

The first variable is the court's decision on the representative's application to suspend the enforcement of the disciplinary action.

Even before the disciplinary committee was held, CEO Lee had already given notice of an application to the court to suspend the enforcement of the disciplinary action.

It is unusual for a court to intervene in an internal political issue through a ruling, but if the court upholds Lee's request, Lee will be able to return to his position as the representative until a judgment on the merits is issued.

However, regardless of whether or not CEO Lee returns to the post, another variable, the possibility of CEO Lee standing on the threshold of the disciplinary committee, is being discussed again depending on the judgment of the investigative agency.

This is because, according to Article 21, Paragraph 6 of the Code of Ethics, if an additional disciplinary reason occurs after disciplinary action, a more severe disciplinary action than the previous one, unless there are special circumstances.

Article 21 (Types and Procedures of Discipline)

⑥ If additional disciplinary reasons occur after disciplinary action, severer disciplinary action will be taken than the previous disciplinary action, unless there are special circumstances.

An official from the party office explained that according to this provision, even after the six-month period of suspension of party membership has expired, there is a possibility that if the result of the police investigation unfavorable to Lee is found, additional disciplinary action may be imposed.

In addition, Article 22 of the Code of Ethics needs to be reviewed.

Article 22 (Special Cases for Disciplinary Actions, such as Suspension of Duties of Persons Prosecuted for


of the Act) ), the right to be elected and the qualifications to apply for the public contest will be suspended, and the chairperson of the Party Association and those in charge of each level of party office will be suspended from their duties.

1. Violent crimes such as murder, robbery, rape


Sexual offenses such as forced molestation, public obscenity, communication media use obscenity, prostitution brokerage

, fraud, blackmail, embezzlement, breach of trust, drunk driving, fugitive vehicle driving, crimes related to children and youth, etc. Crime

3. Corruption crimes such as giving and receiving bribes, illegal political funds, and abuse of power

According to the People's Power Party rules, if you are prosecuted for a 'sex crime', your right to be elected in various primary elections within the party is restricted and your duties are suspended at the same time as the prosecution.

It is known that the police are looking at whether a comprehensive single crime (multiple acts are comprehensively constituting one component and composing one crime) can be applied to the allegation of sexual abuse of CEO Lee, whose prescription has expired. , It seems to be a question whether the allegation of sexual aggression by CEO Lee will be proven by the investigative agency, and whether the proven allegation can be classified as a 'sex crime'.

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After reviewing the People's Power Party constitution and bylaws, I asked a party official, "Isn't there a lot of potential for political abuse because the rules are too sparse?"

In response, this official countered, "The scope of discretion is wide and it seems sloppy, but it is a melting pot of the worries and greed of various leaders and politicians."

However, in a situation where various allegations have been raised over the background of Lee's disclosure of the alleged sexual harassment and destruction of evidence, President Lee cannot easily accept the interpretation of the party constitution and rules put forward by floor leader Kwon on the grounds that 'it is the way it is'. Lee looks helpless.

After posting a message urging members to join the party yesterday, attention is focused on where President Lee, who has not made an official position, will pass the ball.

(Photo = Yonhap News)