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Disgraced lawmaker dodges expulsion

A lawmaker who made sexist remarks dodged expulsion on Wednesday as the parliamentary ethics committee’s motion failed to meet the required quorum in the National Assembly on Wednesday.

Only 111 out of the 297 lawmakers agreed to the bill, while 198 or two-thirds were required.

Rep. Kang Yong-seok thus escaped the disgrace of becoming the first lawmaker ever to be dismissed for ethical reasons but the parliamentary decision sparked public blame that lawmakers were too lenient regarding their colleague’s wrongdoings.

Kang came under fire last July after making inappropriate remarks about anchorwomen and women in general during a meeting with university students.

“(To become an anchorwoman) you’d have to give everything. Do you think you can do that?” he reportedly said.

He also teased a female student who visited Cheong Wa Dae the week before, hinting that President Lee Myung-bak took interest in her.

After the scandal was reported in the media, the ruling Grand National Party expelled him, barring him from reentering for the next five years.

Also, the Seoul Western District Court sentenced him to a suspended jail term of six months, a sentence which will legally deprive him of his elected position, should it be confirmed by the Supreme Court.

By Bae Hyun-jung (tellme@heraldcorp.com)
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