|Rep. Yoo Seong-min pauses while announcing his resignation as the ruling party floor leader at the National Assembly on Wednesday. Yonhap|
“I wanted to uphold the rigorous values of our Article 1 of the Constitution that declares the Republic of Korea shall be a democratic republic, even if it costs my political career,” Yoo said in a press conference.
“The reason I held on to the post of floor leader, which I would have otherwise thrown away way beforehand, was because there were the values that I wanted to protect. Those are the law, principles and justice,” he said in an apparent rebuke to the president and fellow party members who pressured him to resign.
Yoo had been singled out by President Park during a speech on June 25 as a force that hindered the smooth passage of her policies in the legislature. She also vetoed the National Assembly Act revision that would have given more leeway for lawmakers to request changes to government ordinances. Pro-Park members had since demanded Yoo resign to take responsibility. The party leadership, which had initially remained undecided, opened debate on Yoo’s fate by holding the party’s general assembly Wednesday as internal feuding aggravated.
Yoo is stepping down five months after he was elected to the post on Feb. 2.