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Opposition party threatens to impeach Moon over election scandal

Liberty Korea Party floor leader Shim Jae-chul (Yonhap)
Liberty Korea Party floor leader Shim Jae-chul (Yonhap)

The main opposition Liberty Korea Party on Monday urged President Moon Jae-in to come clean on allegations involving former and incumbent presidential secretaries in an election-meddling scandal, threatening to launch an impeachment campaign.

“As soon as the 21st National Assembly is formed, we will push for a parliamentary probe and special investigation. Should President Moon be found to have been involved in any way, we will push for his impeachment,” the party’s floor leader Shim Jae-chul said.

The scandal centers around the mayoral election in June of 2018, in which Moon’s longtime friend Song Cheol-ho was elected.

Prosecutors suspect the presidential office may have helped Song‘s election in violation of election rules.

They have so far indicted Song and several former presidential officials, including Han Byung-do, who served as Moon‘s senior secretary for political affairs, and Baek Won-woo secretary for civil affairs.

On Monday, the Liberty Korea Party filed a legal complaint against Justice Minister Choo Mi-ae for refusing to fully disclose the indictment documents of Moon’s former aides. It said it would push to impeach Choo for attempting to cover up the Moon administration’s wrongdoings.

The Justice Ministry rejected the National Assembly’s request for indictment documents for 13 suspects linked to the scandal. Instead, it submitted a short summary of the indictment papers, citing that the full exposure could undermine the defendants‘ right to a fair trial and could also violate the privacy of the people involved in the case.

Shim claimed the indictment documents stipulate that Park Hyung-chul, former presidential secretary for anti-corruption, had acknowledged election meddling was a crime.

“Justice Minister Choo Mi-ae struggled to cover up crimes committed by Cheong Wa Dae by hiding the indictment documents,” he said.

By Park Han-na (