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Two lawmakers leave DP due to bribery allegations

Posted May. 04, 2023 07:57,   

Updated May. 04, 2023 07:57


Lawmaker Yoon Gwan-seok (three-time lawmaker) and Lee Seong-man (first-time lawmaker), who were rumored to have accepted bribes at the Democratic Party Convention, withdrew from the party on Wednesday, 21 days after being seized and searched by the prosecution on April 12 on grounds of violating the Political Fund Law.

Yoon and Lee attended the supreme council meeting that was held privately this morning, met with the leadership, and announced their defection. “I have many things to say regarding fact relation, but I will faithfully cooperate with the investigation and reveal the truth,” said Yoon. “I am leaving as I put the party first rather than my personal affairs. I will do my best to reveal the truth,” said Lee.

The party leadership is known to have convinced both lawmakers to voluntarily leave the party. “As the party leadership refused to conduct an internal investigation and waited for prosecution results, it had no other option amid rising public criticism that Lee Jae-myung should be responsible,” said an official with the opposition party. When asked whether Lee was directly involved in convincing the two lawmakers to leave, Lee said, "The decision was made voluntarily, which should be respected and understood as-is.”

Though public criticism subsided considerably after the party defection, it remains strong toward the leadership’s lukewarm stance on bribery. “If the party had decided not to run an internal investigation, it should have concluded on how they would define its course of action on key persons involved,” said a lawmaker with the Democratic party. Lawmakers continued to criticize the actions of the party at the first General Meeting that was held under Floor Leader Park Gwang-on’s leadership.

Dong-Jun Heo hungry@donga.com