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Ruling party slams main opposition over sexual misconduct case

National 15:08 May 13, 2022

SEOUL, May 13 (Yonhap) -- The ruling People Power Party (PPP) on Friday slammed the rival Democratic Party (DP) as "a party with expertise in sex crimes" after one of the DP lawmakers was expelled over allegations of sexual misconduct.

The DP issued a public apology Thursday after kicking out Rep. Park Wan-joo, a three-term lawmaker, over allegations that he sexually harassed a female assistant late last year.

The case followed other high-profile sexual misconduct cases involving DP members, including late former Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon, former Busan Mayor Oh Keo-don and former South Chungcheong Province Gov. Ahn Hee-jung.

"It even makes me think that it is not an exaggeration to call the DP a party with expertise in sex crimes," said Rep. Kim Gi-hyeon, co-head of the PPP's election committee.

PPP spokesperson Her Eun-a accused the DP of attempting to cover up the case for about half a year.

The DP on Friday vowed again to strictly handle the matter based on a zero tolerance principle, hoping Park's case does not undermine its efforts in the June 1 local elections and parliamentary by-elections.

"With desperation, we will respond to this case under the principle of no tolerance," DP spokeswoman Shin Hyun-young told CBS radio.

She said the party plans to refer Park to the special ethics committee of the National Assembly for additional punishment.

This file photo shows Rep. Park Wan-joo, who was expelled from the main opposition Democratic Party on May 12, 2022, over sexual misconduct allegations. (Pool photo) (Yonhap)
Park Ji-hyun (R) and Rep. Yun Ho-jung, co-chairs of the main opposition Democratic Party's interim leadership committee, apologize at the National Assembly in Seoul on May 12, 2022, for alleged sexual misconduct by Rep. Park Wan-joo. (Pool photo) (Yonhap)

nyway@yna.co.kr
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