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Opposition party undeterred by court ruling in favor of large retailers

Three lawmakers of the main opposition Democratic United Party said Sunday they will continue to push the policy of restricting the business of large retailers to protect mom-and-pop stores.

The move came two days after the Seoul Administrative Court ruled in favor of five large retailers over new ordinances by two ward offices in Seoul that prohibit them from doing business on the second and fourth Sunday of every month.

The ordinances are part of the central government's policy to curb the expansion of big retailers and help small, family-run stores.

Kim Young-hwan, a DUP lawmaker, claimed the court recognized the necessity of restricting the business of big retailers, but there was a "procedural problem" in the ordinances.

Kim said his party will "further strengthen" the business restriction of large retailers through a law rather than ordinances and that the procedural problem can be resolved by revising the ordinances.

The court said on Friday the ordinances have a "procedural problem" because they require the heads of the ward offices to compulsorily restrict the businesses of big retailers.

"The ordinances are in violation of the Retail Industry Development Law that gives a discretionary authority to heads of local government on the need for restricting businesses and the extent of restriction," the court said the ruling.

Kim warned against any attempt by large retailers to mislead the public about the court ruling or to undermine the Retail Industry Development Law.

Kim Han-gil, a senior DUP lawmaker, also said he hoped the court ruling on the procedural problem would not damage the legitimacy of restricting the business of large retailers.

Yun Kwan-seok, another DUP lawmaker, said ward offices should review the illegality of the ordinances and that large retailers should not take advantage of the court ruling to file suits against business restriction. (Yonhap News)

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