With her lips shut tight, she seemed continuously choking back her tears. Lee Jeong-mi, leader of the Justice Party, did not utter a word, leaving the National Assembly to pay a visit to a mourning altar for Roh Hoe-chan, floor leader of the party who was found dead Monday, set up at Yonsei University’s Severance Hospital in central Seoul.
The sudden death of Roh sent the Justice Party into a state of panic. “What on earth has happened,” Chu Hye-sun, the party’s spokesperson, was choked up and could not go on in a phone conversation with a reporter. At the mourning altar, the party’s lawmaker Yoon So-ha was seen with her shoulders drooping, and other lawmakers also looked pale, not saying much.
The progressive party held an emergency meeting at the hospital, and decided to hold a party funeral for Roh for five days. “Rep. Lee Jeong-mi will serve as the chief funeral commissioner, and incense altars will be set up at the party’s offices across cities and provinces,” said Choi Seok, spokesperson of the Justice Party.
With the passing of Roh, a joint floor negotiation bloc named the “group of lawmakers for peace and justice,” earlier launched by the Party for Democracy and Peace (14 seats) and the Justice Party (6 seats), has lost its status as a parliamentary negotiating bloc as it is short of the minimum 20 legislators.
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