Finding the truth is keySex scandals have swept the political world. Busan mayor Oh Keo-don resigned after he admitted to having made sexual advances towards a city hall employee. A secretary of a ruling Democratic Party (DP) lawmaker who was re-elected in the April 15 parliamentary elections is under police investigation for assault and rape of his spouse. A candidate recruited for proportional representation from the Democratic United Party (now DP) in the legislative election eight years ago was recently indicted by a Seoul district prosecution office for sex crime charges. Although he failed to get a seat, he stayed on in the ruling party.
The office of Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon, a DP member, is also implicated in a sex scandal. A staff in the mayor’s secretariat office was arrested by police after he was accused of sexual assault against a female colleague after an office dinner. The DP repeatedly vowed to reinforce gender equality education. But such pledges are not enough.
The DP now commands a super majority — 180 out of 300 seats in the National Assembly. The party requires a deep soul-searching regarding the frequencies in sexual misconducts. The ruling camp has been under fire several times before.
Tak Hyun-min, a former staffer at the Presidential Protocol Office in the Moon Jae-in administration, caused an uproar for his dismissive comments about the other sex. But President Moon did not immediately sack him. Kim Nam-kook, a pro-government lawyer and lawmaker-elect, irked women with his slanderous comments during the campaigning, but the ruling party did not withdraw his nomination.
The ruling party, touting civilian rights, equality and justice, has been neglectful of gender sensitivity. Such immoral irregularities can repeat if the DP does not address the matter seriously.
A law firm, where a relative-by-marriage of the late President Roh Moo-hyun works, in Busan was found to have administered the document certifying Mayor Oh’s resignation, raising speculation about the Blue House’s involvement in arranging Oh’s resignation after the election to prevent the scandal from hurting the ruling party in the parliamentary elections.
If that is true, the presidential office could face charges of meddling in elections. The affair also requires a thorough explanation and investigation.
JoongAng Ilbo, April 27, Page 34