Photo: Justice Party Chairman Kim Jong-cheol. Credit: Facebook page of Kim Jong-cheol.
The Justice Party 정의당 sacked its Chairman Kim Jong-cheol 김종철 당대표 following allegations that he sexually harassed the one of the party’s Assembly Members, Jang Hye-yeong 장혜영. The Justice Party’s Vice Chairwoman Bae Bok-ju 배복주 announced on January 25 that after having a dinner with Jang on January 15, Chairman Kim made “inappropriate physical contact” with her. The scandal is a blow to the minor leftist party with six seats (out of 300) in the National Assembly 국회, which has been seeking to burnish its progressive credentials by attacking the ruling liberal Democratic Party 민주당 regarding sexual harassment scandals involving its elected officials, such as former Seoul mayor Park Won-soon 박원순 전 서울시장 or former Busan mayor O Geo-don 오거돈 전 부산시장.
Separately, the Justice Party’s Assembly Member Ryu Ho-jeong 류호정 became a subject of controversy following the allegations that she fired her aide without following the Labor Act 노동법’s rules for terminating an employee. Ryu, a labor activist, said in a statement that there was a “procedural error” 절차상의 실수 in notifying the termination of her employee.