Seoul, Feb 8 (IANS): South Korea's Parliament on Wednesday voted to impeach Interior Minister Lee Sang-min to hold him responsible for the deadly crowd crush in Seoul's Itaewon neighbourhood during Halloween celebrations last October that killed 159 people.
The National Assembly, dominated by the main liberal opposition Democratic Party (DP), voted 179 to 109 in favour of impeaching Lee, reports Xinhua news agency.
Five other votes were counted invalid.
Lee will be suspended from duty until the constitutional court rules in favour of or against the impeachment motion, proposed by the DP and two minor liberal parties.
It marked the country's first impeachment of a cabinet member in history of the unicameral parliament.
Liberal lawmakers criticized the conservative government for its bungled response to the deadly incident.
After wrapping up a 74-day probe into the "man-made disaster" last month, the special police investigation team referred 23 government officials to the prosecution on professional negligence and other charges.
The team, however, decided not to hold any officials from the Interior Ministry, the Seoul city government and the national police agency criminally liable for the disaster.