On the 22nd, the People’s Power Central Ethics Committee decided to initiate a disciplinary procedure against Kim Cheol-geun, head of the political affairs office, who was accused of ‘destruction of evidence’ in relation to Lee Jun-seok’s allegation of sexual abuse.
The Ethics Committee postponed the disciplinary review process for CEO Lee, who was accused of sexual harassment and evidence destruction, to the 7th of next month.
There is an interpretation that the Ethics Committee has actually entered the process of disciplinary action against CEO Lee.
The result is expected to have a huge impact on Lee’s personal political life as well as the power structure within the party.
The Ethics Committee held a late-night marathon meeting for about 5 hours from 7 pm to midnight at the main building of the National Assembly on the same day.
Lee Yang-hee, chairman of the ethics committee, said through a press briefing that the decision was made in this way.
Chairman Lee said, “We have started the disciplinary process against Kim Cheol-geun, the current party leader, and the current party leader, Lee Jun-seok, has decided to hold the 4th Central Ethics Committee on July 7.
After hearing the vocation, we decided to deliberate and make a decision,” he said.
The reason for the commencement of disciplinary proceedings against Director Kim is a violation of the duty to maintain dignity in relation to the allegation of destruction of evidence.
Regarding the prospect of Kim’s level of disciplinary action, Chairman Lee said, “Now that the (disciplinary process) has begun, we need to hear more.”
Regarding the agenda for deliberation of the representative’s disciplinary action, which will be discussed at the ethics committee on the 7th of next month, he said, “We will review the violation of maintaining dignity regarding the allegation of destruction of evidence (teacher), not the allegation of sexual harassment,” he said. .
In response to the question, ‘As for CEO Lee, only his own vindication process remains and the investigation has been completed’, he replied, “Yes.
It is necessary for CEO Lee to attend, go through the process we listen to, and listen to the call as to whether or not to take disciplinary action,” he said.
Regarding the reason for not attending the meeting on this day, he said, “It is because we have an order in the procedure.”
As the Ethics Committee started disciplinary procedures against Director Kim, a close associate of Lee, on the same day, and decided to call representative Lee at the next meeting to hear his call, there are observations that the procedure for disciplinary action against CEO Lee has actually begun.
However, Chairman Lee said, “You will have to listen to all the callings to decide whether to discipline or not,” he said.
Eight out of nine ethics committee members attended the meeting, and Kim Cheol-geun, a close associate of Lee, was summoned as a witness for 90 minutes to verify the facts related to the allegation of Lee.
Previously, CEO Lee was sued by the Ethics Committee for violating the duty to maintain dignity under the ‘Suspect of a Teacher Destroying Evidence of Sexual Compensation’, and disciplinary procedures began on April 21.
CEO Lee’s ‘suggestion of sexual harassment’ was first raised by the YouTube channel ‘Garosero Research Institute’ (Ka Se-yeon) in December of last year, during the presidential election period, claiming that he received sexual favors from a businessman in 2013.
In addition, Ka Se-yeon filed a complaint with the Party Ethics Committee, claiming that Director Kim met with the informant’s mother-in-law and wrote a ‘700 million won investment memorandum’ after receiving a fact confirmation to the effect that ‘there was no sexual harassment’ .
This case is currently being investigated by the police.
The Ethics Committee is intensively examining whether CEO Lee tried to destroy the evidence by contacting the informant of the sexual favors, or whether CEO Lee directly intervened.
Representative Lee stayed in the representative office in the main building of the National Assembly and waited while the ethics committee was held.
He claimed to have appeared at the Ethics Committee and expressed his intention to speak in person, but was rejected.
Previously, the Ethics Committee sent a request for submission of explanatory materials to CEO Lee, but it is known that CEO Lee did not submit explanatory materials.
According to the People’s Power Party rules, Chairman Lee can be subject to one of four disciplinary actions: expulsion, solicitation to leave the party, suspension of party membership, and warning.
Considering the recent statement issued by Chairman Lee, there are many views within the party that a decision of ‘suspending party membership’ or ‘warning’ will be made among the four levels of disciplinary action.
However, some are discussing the possibility that the decision will be postponed without disciplinary action against Lee, or that only Director Kim Cheol-geun, who is a close associate of CEO Lee, will be disciplined.
Within the power of the people, ‘the theory of prudence’ and ‘the theory of unavoidability’ are fighting over whether or not to punish Lee.
In this situation, if the Ethics Committee decides to take disciplinary action, it is pointed out that it is highly likely to escalate into intense party infighting due to competition for power, both inside and outside the party.
President Lee’s term of office is until June next year, and if the disciplinary action becomes a reality, it is predicted that the controversy over the position of the party leader and whether an early national convention will be held will ignite in earnest.