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PPP starts process for disciplinary action against lawmaker grilled for insensitive remarks after deadly flood

Lee Yang-hee, chairperson of the ruling People Power Party's ethics committee, speaks to reporters after a committee meeting at the National Assembly in western Seoul on Monday. (Yonhap)
Lee Yang-hee, chairperson of the ruling People Power Party's ethics committee, speaks to reporters after a committee meeting at the National Assembly in western Seoul on Monday. (Yonhap)

The ruling People Power Party (PPP) has decided to take steps to pursue disciplinary action against a party lawmaker who came under fire for making remarks wishing for more rain during voluntary cleanup work in the wake of massive downpours, officials said Tuesday.

Rep. Kim Sung-won drew strong criticism in early August after he was caught on TV cameras saying he wished more rain would fall for better public relations effects of their voluntary work, even though the downpours, believed to be the heaviest in 115 years, caused serious flooding in Seoul and elsewhere.

The PPP's ethics committee met late Monday and decided to launch a process for disciplinary action, calling on party members to be more "prudent with their words and actions."

The gaffe has dealt a blow to the ruling party that was struggling with low approval ratings.

Kim has apologized, stepped down as the PPP's leader on the parliamentary budget committee and said he will gladly accept any disciplinary measure.

On Monday, the ethics committee also decided to begin the process for disciplinary action against Rep. Kwon Eun-hee for publicly opposing the party's line on the government's establishment of a police bureau within the interior ministry.

Kwon protested the decision, saying it makes no sense to punish a lawmaker for actions taken in accordance with the "Constitution" and "conscience."

The committee also decided to begin a disciplinary process for Rep. Kim Hee-kuk over bribery allegations. (Yonhap)

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