Lawmaker-elect of left-wing party offers to quit over election scandal
The left-wing minor opposition Unified Progressive Party (UPP), disgraced by an election fraud scandal, appears to be plunging deeper into crisis as one of its lawmakers elected through the proportional representation system offered to resign Friday.
Yoon Geum-soon, who was ranked first of the UPP's proportional representation candidates, said she will take responsibility for suspected vote rigging and other irregularities in the party's selection of proportional candidates for last month's parliamentary elections.
"I am very ashamed and apologize that the Unified Progressive Party caused disappointment and concern to the public," Yoon said in a news conference at the National Assembly.
The resignation offer makes Yoon the first lawmaker-elect to offer to step down just weeks before the 300-member parliament begins a new four-year term.
The move came two days after the party announced the fairness of internal ballots to select its proportional representation candidates for the April 11 elections had been seriously compromised.
Yoon was elected along with five other UPP candidates under the proportional representation system, which allocates parliamentary seats to parties according to the overall numbers of votes they garner.
Yoon has yet to submit an official letter of resignation to the National Election Commission, according to Baek Seun-hun, an official of the country's election watchdog.
If Yoon's resignation takes effect, a UPP candidate who took the seventh slot in the party's line-up of proportional representation candidates will automatically replace her, according to election law.
Yoon served as head of the Korean Women Peasants Association and was proposed as a Nobel peace prize nominee in 2005.
The association pressed the party's four co-leaders and all proportional representation candidates involved in the party's internal race to resign in responsibility for the scandal.
The co-leaders have vowed to reform the party and restore its moral integrity, but did not immediately clarify whether they would step down. (Yonhap)