Rep. Choi Kang-wook of the Democratic Party of Korea, who received a six-month suspension of party membership for making sexually harassing remarks at a Zoom meeting, announced that he would file a request for a retrial. In response, the Democratic Party’s Emergency Response Committee said it respects the decision of the Ethics Judge, and the controversy is rekindling.
Rep. Choi refused to actually acknowledge the decision of the Ethics Tribunal, saying that he would examine and confirm the facts, and countered that the disciplinary action was excessive even if it was true.
Democratic Party lawmaker Choi Kang-wook, after disciplinary action, did not respond to any media coverage, but on the night of the 21st, posted a long message on his Facebook page saying he would file a retrial. He said, “I would like to seek an additional vocation and judgment regarding the facts and legal principles through the application process for retrial given by the party constitution and bylaws regarding this decision of the Ethics Tribunal. I will faithfully execute the rights given to me through due process to protect it.”
Regarding the factual judgment, Rep. Choi said, “There is no direct evidence in this case, and there are conflicting or different opinions about various statements and circumstances, and it is assumed that they were actually submitted. Since it is a decision that can be swayed, it is essential to find out the facts as strictly and carefully as possible and based on evidence.” In response, Rep. Choi blamed himself for not taking steps to actively collect evidence or to defend, and said, “Once again, we will examine the facts carefully and try to prove that misunderstandings can be resolved.” He also said, “I will check again whether the facts experienced by the actual participants and those involved are properly communicated and proven.”
In order to prove that he was the victim, he was told that he and the participants at the time were aware of the facts and the intentions of his remarks. Rep. Choi said, “In order to admit the accusation of ‘sexual harassment’, it is absolutely essential that the participants, including myself, be aware of it. I was not aware at all that the situation was concentrating, and there was no reason to confirm.” He insisted, “Nevertheless, I want to check what is the basis for proving that the remarks were harmful to anyone other than the person speaking to them.”
Rep. Choi argued that it would be a bad precedent for exercising the right to defend himself, saying that he was responsible for causing emotional pain to others for what he had explained at the minimum. “Is the only way to keep your mouth shut is to protect the human rights of victims?” Above all, Rep. Choi also questioned whether this unprecedented level of disciplinary action is correct even if it is assumed that all the facts have been proven.
However, the Democratic Party’s Emergency Response Committee drew a line on Rep. Choi’s protest by saying that it would respect the decision of the Ethics Judge.
At a meeting presided over by the party’s representative in the National Assembly on the morning of the 22nd, Chairman Woo Sang-ho said, “A new debate is starting over the issue of disciplinary action against Rep. Choi Kang-wook.” I think it should be,” he said. Chairman Woo said, “We will respect the decision of the Ethics Tribunal. ,” he said.
“The party may have a different opinion on matters that the party decides in accordance with the established party constitution, but all actions that openly expose it and lead to clashes between supporters should be refrained,” said Woo Bi-Chairman.
Deputy member Seo Nan-yi also evaluated that “even if it is difficult and difficult, we must face the problem we have done wrong.” Rep. Choi said, “Even though there were many circumstances that could have closed this case, (Rep. Choi) overturned and denied the apology and supported the people and supporters. It caused more confusion for the victims, and made it harsher for the victims.” “Political procedures must be carried out in accordance with the party constitution and the party system, and political decisions must be made consistently and in accordance with principles,” Seo said. emphasized.
“The party has an obligation to protect the person who raised the issue,” Seo said, adding, “As the party’s conflict intensifies, we must uphold our principles. It is a matter of composing facts as they are and judging them from the public’s point of view and protecting common sense.” He urged, “Please do not remain silent or turn a blind eye to the facts confirmed by the consensus of the ethics judges,” he urged.
Previously, Kim Hoe-jae, a member of the Ethics Tribunal of the Central Party, said at a briefing on the 20th that “all the members confirmed the same facts” regarding the facts. As the basis for that, Rep. Kim said, “I formed a subcommittee to actually directly investigate the victims, and there was no disagreement among the members by comprehensively reviewing the data made so far and confirming the facts.” ‘, he said, “There is no direct data, and there are indirect data.”
In the case of the second offense, Kim explained that it was not clearly proven, but during the clarification process, Rep. Choi denied it, causing emotional pain to the victims who truly believed, and explained that “this part was fully considered for the conviction.”
Meanwhile, as Rep. Choi Kang-wook requests a retrial, the Ethics Tribunal of the Democratic Party of Korea must reexamine it within 60 days and report back to the Supreme Council for future procedures. Article 29 (5) of the Party Regulations of the Democratic Party Ethics Tribunal stipulates that “retrials are reviewed and decided by the Central Party Ethics Tribunal, and the Chairman of the Central Party Ethics Tribunal reports the results to the Supreme Committee.”