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Lawmaker`s Alleged Sexist Comments Fueling Political Feud

Lawmaker`s Alleged Sexist Comments Fueling Political Feud

Posted July. 22, 2010 11:22,   


The scandal surrounding lawmaker Kang Yong-seok’s alleged sexually inappropriate comments is further escalating conflict between the ruling and opposition parties.

A group of college students who attended a dinner with the disgraced ruling Grand National Party legislator last week confirmed Wednesday that Kang did make the comments as reported by the major daily JoongAng Ilbo.

In an ethics committee meeting Tuesday, the ruling party tried to soothe the situation by expelling Kang. The main opposition Democratic Party, however, called the incident a “notorious sexual assault scandal.”

Ruling party leader Ahn Sang-soo said Wednesday, “We will strictly deal with the sexual ethics issue going forward and enforce stricter discipline within our party.”

Rep. Na Kyung-won, a member of the ruling party’s supreme council, said, “Our party should be ever more careful than before.”

Fellow supreme council member Rep. Seo Byung-soo said, “A prominent social figure with strong moral character should take on the role of ethics committee chairman.”

Democratic Party Chairman Chung Sye-kyun told a meeting of his party’s supreme council Wednesday, “The Kang incident is a bizarre and immoral case of scandal involving even the president and first lady.”

In a radio interview, Democratic Party spokesman Noh Young-min said, “Kang telephoned students at the same table who said they were afraid of his threats and placation.”

The opposition party submitted a disciplinary action request against Kang to the National Assembly’s special ethics committee.

Democratic Party Rep. Jeon Hyun-heui, who was with Kang at the dinner, is paying the price of fame. Kang reportedly said at the dinner that the Democratic Party’s female lawmakers are prettier than those of the ruling party.

Jeon’s personal homepage was frozen after a flood of hits. A first-time lawmaker named to parliament under the proportional representative system, she told reporters, “I don’t want to become the center of attention with this kind of matter.”

On whether Kang made the sexually inappropriate comments, she said, “I couldn’t hear what he said because I didn’t sit near him.”

On reports that Kang commented on her appearance, Jeon said, “If he did, I think it was improper.”

The ruling party countered the opposition’s offensive by playing up the alleged sexual harassment of a female employee by the head of Gochang County, North Jeolla Province, who is a member of the Democratic Party.

Rep. Hong Joon-pyo, a member of the ruling party`s supreme council, said, “The Democratic Party should promptly make a decision given that the head of a provincial government office committed a severe case of sexual harassment.”

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