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Minor opposition party head apologizes over alleged illegal funds scandal

All News 10:22 June 10, 2016

SEOUL, June 10 (Yonhap) -- Ahn Cheol-soo, co-chairman of the minor opposition People's Party, said Friday he will take "all necessary steps" to deal with allegations that a lawmaker raised illegal political funds ahead of the April 13 polls.

"I was told that the issues raised are not true, but the party will take resolute actions once the ongoing investigation is concluded," Ahn said, touching on the unfolding scandal.

"We will also actively cooperate with the prosecutors' investigation. I hope the prosecutors will also conduct a fair probe as well," the party leader said.

On Thursday, prosecutors raided local advertisement companies over allegations that they gave illegal kickbacks to Kim Su-min, who was in charge of a public relations campaign for the minor opposition party. The 30-year-old representative has since secured a parliamentary seat as the youngest lawmaker in the 20th National Assembly.

The Seoul Western District Prosecutors' Office raised the possibility that Kim may have received some 178 million won (US$153,000) from the advertisement firms by forging contracts.

The investigations come at a bad time for the minor party that won a surprising 38 seats in the general election. It is competing with the main opposition Minjoo Party of Korea to win public support, and has claimed to represent a new and cleaner face of South Korean politics that has often been attacked for being incompetent and slow to give up bad practices.

colin@yna.co.kr
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