Ruling Saenuri Party Floor Leader Yoo Seung-min Resigns open the window of AOD

Write : 2015-07-12


Ruling Saenuri Party Floor Leader Yoo Seung-min has finally resigned from his post.
Yoo on Wednesday announced his decision to step down shortly after ruling Saenuri lawmakers concluded that he should resign at a meeting earlier in the day.

While announcing his resignation, Yoo also apologized to the South Korean public for causing concern. He said that it was regretful that he must step down before finishing his term in office. Yoo resigned 156 days after he was appointed to the one-year-term post. He added that he was unable to keep his promise to reform the party and lead it to victory in the upcoming general election.

Yoo had been under pressure to resign after President Park Geun-hye vetoed a revision to the National Assembly Act, which he was in charge of negotiating with the opposition party.

While explaining her reasons for rejecting the bill boosting lawmakers' influence over presidential and other administrative ordinances, Park asked voters to bring judgment on those who are staging what she called the “politics of betrayal.” Yoo is from the same hometown as Park, Daegu, and was once a close aide to her.

During the resignation news conference, Yoo said that he did not promptly resign despite the growing calls because he wanted to uphold the virtues of law, principles and justice. He then stressed that he wanted to protect the spirit of the First Clause of Article 1 of the Constitution, which says “The Republic of Korea shall be a democratic republic.”

He asked for forgiveness and understanding from party members, saying that if his foolish stubbornness had helped realize law, principles and justice in the country, he is willing to receive any criticisms from his fellow lawmakers.

The reference to the democratic principle of the constitution in Yoo’s resignation speech was seen by some as a veiled criticism of Park for, as the head of the state, exerting influences to sack him as a parliamentary representative.

The presidential office, however, avoided commenting on Yoo’s resignation, calling it a party decision.

Presidential Spokesman Min Kyung-wook expressed hope for a good relationship between the presidential office and the ruling party.

Some experts say that Yoo’s resignation is not putting an end to an internal conflict within the ruling party, but only initiating it. They say discord between the pro-Park faction and other Saenuri lawmakers, who are critical of the president, will turn into a full-fledged feud during the upcoming candidate selection process for the general election due next year.

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