November 07, 2013 11:57
Cabinet ministers on Tuesday approved a motion to disband the Unified Progressive Party, which is accused of promoting North Korean ideology and attempting to overthrow the government.
This is the first time in democratic times that a parliamentary party has been disbanded.
The Justice Ministry "found that the UPP's doctrine, its political goals and main activities violate the constitutional democratic order," it said.
The ministry has been reviewing the motion for two months since lawmaker Lee Seok-ki and three other members of the minor opposition party were arrested on charges of plotting to topple the government and blow up major facilities in the event of a war with North Korea.
With the disbandment motion passing the Cabinet, the ministry took the case to the Constitutional Court on Tuesday.
The court has the final say about whether political parties can be disbanded. It will decide whether the party's political goals and activities are in line with the democratic order as laid out in the Constitution.
If the motion goes through, the party's assets will be forfeited and members will be banned from reforming under a different name.
The UPP has denounced the motion's passage as a revival of the nation's dictatorial past.
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