Buddhist council votes to remove its president

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Buddhist council votes to remove its president

The executive council of Korea’s largest Buddhist sect voted on Thursday to oust its president, who has refused to step down despite a series of corruption scandals.

Among 75 monks in the Jogye Order’s executive council, 56 voted in favor of removing the Venerable Seoljeong from office. Fourteen others opposed, four abstained and one ballot was invalidated.

The decision is pending approval from a meeting of senior monks set for Aug. 22.

The council’s first-ever passage of a no-confidence vote came after the 76-year-old Seoljeong vowed on Monday to remain in his position despite growing calls for his resignation from the organization’s members and secular groups.

Seoljeong took office in November last year for a four-year term as president. He faces a string of allegations including forging his academic credentials, embezzling the order’s money and secretly fathering a daughter against the sect’s celibacy rule.

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