The National Assembly on Friday approved of the appointment of Supreme Court Chief Justice nominee Jo Hee-de.
The motion for the appointment passed in a vote of 264 to 18 with ten abstentions, filling the 74-day vacuum in the top court that included a two-month gap after the opposition-controlled parliament rejected previous nominee Lee Gyun-ryong in October after Kim Myeong-su retired on September 24.
Not only the ruling People Power Party but also the main opposition Democratic Party appeared to have voted in favor of Jo’s appointment.
The passage comes hours after a full session of the special committee on the nominee's appointment approved Jo’s confirmation hearing report, which noted no issues of particular concern regarding the nominee's morality and his apparent strong resolve to protect the judiciary's autonomy and political neutrality.
It also mentioned Jo's concrete vision and plan for judicial reform, such as addressing delays in trials and the excessive issuance of warrants.
Following the vote, Jo met reporters in front of his office in southern Seoul and said he will humbly undertake the job and do his best to serve the public.