Ruling party lawmaker is found guilty of buying seat

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Ruling party lawmaker is found guilty of buying seat

Representative Kim Young-joo of the Saenuri Party was stripped of his post after he was found guilty by the Supreme Court of buying his candidacy.

The Supreme Court yesterday upheld the election law violation conviction against Kim, a proportional representative of the ruling party. Kim was ordered to serve a 10-month prison term, a punishment heavy enough for him lose his lawmaker seat.

Kim, a Busan-based businessman, was elected as a proportional representative for the Liberty Forward Party in the last year’s general poll. His party affiliation changed in November when the conservative minority party merged with the Saenuri Party.

Kim was convicted of promising to loan the Liberty Forward Party 5 billion won in exchange for his candidacy. Shim Sang-eok, former head of the Liberty Forward Party’s policy research institute, was also convicted yesterday for demanding payment from Kim.

In yesterday’s ruling, five lawmakers elected in the April 2012 legislative elections lost their seats. The Saenuri Party said yesterday that Hwang In-ja, a former senior member of the Liberty Forward Party, will fill Kim’s proportional representative seat. The party will continue to occupy 155 seats in the 300-member National Assembly.

Hwang is a women’s policy specialist who served in the Ministry of Gender Equality, the Ministry of Public Administration and Security and the Seoul Metropolitan Government. She also worked as a professor at Youngsan University.

During last year’s general elections, Hwang was on the list of the Liberty Forward Party’s proportional representatives, ranked right under Kim. “Because Kim was a Liberty Forward Party member, the seat will be handed down to them,” a Saenuri official said.

BY SER MYO-JA [myoja@joongang.co.kr]


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