South Korean politicians have voted to impeach interior minister Lee Sang-min over his responses to a deadly Halloween crush last October.
As many as 159 people were killed and 196 injured in the October 29 incident, which happened in the nightlife district of Itaewon over the Halloween festivities.
Wednesday’s motion passed by a widely expected margin of 179 to 109 in a secret ballot in the 300-member single chamber, where the main opposition Democratic Party has a 169-seat majority.
The motion needed support from at least 150 members to pass.
The impeachment suspends Lee from his duties and the country’s Constitutional Court has 180 days to rule on whether to unseat him for good or give him back the job, a process that could take up to six months.
In a statement, Lee said; “I will fully cooperate with the constitutional court’s impeachment trial so that the ministry of interior and safety can be normalised at an early date.”
Vice Minister Han Chang-seob will step in as acting minister until the Constitutional Court decides on Lee’s fate.
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