South Korea’s ruling party Leader sacked over prostitution scandal

Seoul, Jul 8 (EFE).- South Korea’s ruling People’s Power Party temporarily suspended Friday the membership of its leader Lee Jun-Seok, accused of soliciting prostitution in 2013.

The party’s ethics committee suspended Lee for six months after a preliminary investigation into allegations that a businessman paid Lee for these services nine years ago and the hitherto chairman of the Conservative Party tried to cover up the bribery incident.

The temporary dismissal of Lee, who has been defending his innocence for weeks, points to the end of his political career, experts said.

Lee said Friday in a radio interview that he does not plan to step down and will take all possible legal steps to overturn the ethics committee’s decision.

However, the party’s parliamentary spokesman Kweon Seong-dong said any measure that Lee may take is invalidated by the dismissal.

The appointment of 37-year-old Lee – who had never even won a parliamentary seat – as the new leader of the conservative party took much of South Korea’s public by surprise last year.

Under the leadership of a well-known critic of gender quotas who compared radical feminism to terrorism and campaigned especially for men between the ages of 20 and 40, the party won the presidential elections in March and the local and regional ones in June.

However, since his appointment, the young politician has had ongoing disputes with members of the party close to South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol.

Lee himself even said the case that has led to his dismissal is a conspiracy by this group orchestrated against him.

Yoon, in a brief meeting with the media, called the situation unfortunate and urged the party to show a firm and united position to rebuild the leadership. EFE


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