The ruling People Power Party decided Thursday to lift the membership suspensions imposed on former party leader Lee Jun-seok and Daegu Mayor Hong Joon-pyo over alleged misconduct, endorsing one of the first reform measures recommended by its innovation committee.
The PPP accepted the committee's "grand amnesty" request and nullified the disciplinary measures taken against Lee, Hong and two other members in a gesture of unity before next year's general elections, according to committee member Oh Shin-hwan.
"The ethics committee's decisions ... should be respected as they were made with reasonable reasoning and standards, but the innovation committee's proposal for party cohesion should also be respected," PPP's leader Kim Gi-hyeon said at a Supreme Council meeting.
"While there may be differing opinions, embracing the values and authenticity of innovation is the right direction to pursue."
Lee had his party membership suspended for 1 1/2 years in 2022 over allegations of sexual bribery and an attempted cover-up. Hong was suspended for 10 months early this year over criticism he played golf when the country was struggling with damage from heavy downpours.
Along with Lee and Hong, the party canceled the membership suspensions on three-term lawmaker Kim Jae-won and Kim Cheol-kun, a former aide to ex-leader Lee. (Yonhap)