The National Assembly approved the long-stalled bill confirming former Supreme Court justice Yang Sung-tae as chief justice, narrowly avoiding the possible vacuum in the top bench.
In the parliament’s general meeting held on Wednesday, the bill was passed with consent of 227 of 245 lawmakers present.
Concerns have been raised recently over the confirmation delay as incumbent chief justice Lee Yong-hoon is to end his six-year term this Saturday.
The main opposition Democratic Party previously vowed to veto the bill, calling for the approval of the bill to approve Cho Yong-whan as the new constitutional court justice, whose qualification the ruling party questions. The party, however, changed its stance shortly before the general meeting and turned in favor of Yang’s confirmation.
“The DP has given its best effort to protect the fundamentals of party politics in appointing judicial officials,” said DP chairman Rep. Sohn Hak-kyu in his opening speech of the session. “We request that the constitutional justice appointment bill be passed speedily, if not today.”
The chief justice-nominee Yang, appointed by President Lee Myung-bak last month, is known for his conservative rulings during his years at the Supreme Court until earlier this year.
By Bae Hyun-jung (firstname.lastname@example.org)