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Opposition lawmaker disciplined for election fraud claim

The main opposition party Thursday removed its Rep. Kang Dong-won from the National Assembly’s House Steering Committee over his remarks alleging fraud in the 2012 presidential race that prompted fury from the ruling camp and placed his party in a strategic quagmire.

The New Politics Alliance for Democracy’s senior vice floor leader Rep. Lee Choon-suak said during a party meeting that Kang’s argument made earlier this week was an individual belief that the party disagrees.


Saenuri Party members submit a request for the National Assembly to discipline NPAD Rep. Kang Dong-won on Thursday. Yonhap
Saenuri Party members submit a request for the National Assembly to discipline NPAD Rep. Kang Dong-won on Thursday. Yonhap


Lee will be removed from the committee that is slated to question Cheong Wa Dae and other presidential staff in the extraordinary audit session next week “for smooth proceeding” and to avoid unnecessary controversy, the party leadership said.

While the annual parliamentary audit was completed last week, the Steering Committee along with those on intelligence and gender equality are holding sessions separately as they are composed of lawmakers belonging to other committees as well.

Kang on Tuesday had claimed that the previous presidential race was rigged, suggesting ballot manipulation and authorities’ interference. The remarks were lambasted by Cheong Wa Dae and the ruling Saenuri Party. The NPAD reportedly frowned upon Kang for deviating attention away from its full-fledged fight against the government’s state-authored history textbook.

“The party believes (Kang’s) allegation was not commonsensical or able to garner public support,” said NPAD chairman Rep. Moon Jae-in. But he added that there are lingering questions surrounding the election, and that the Supreme Court should seal the controversy by making an overdue ruling on a lawsuit filed by activists raising such allegations.

The Saenuri Party, meanwhile, demanded that Kang be expelled from the NPAD and have his lawmaker status rescinded.

From news reports
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