SEOUL, Aug. 31 (Yonhap) -- A South Korean lawmaker accused of sexist remarks retained his seat as a motion to oust him was voted down in the National Assembly on Wednesday, sparking criticism that legislators are too soft on wrongdoings committed by fellow lawmakers.
Rep. Kang Yong-seok, 42, came under fire in July of last year after he made lewd remarks about TV anchorwomen and women's appearances in a meeting with college students. Soon after his sexist remarks were widely reported, the ruling Grand National Party (GNP) kicked the first-term lawmaker out of the party and a special ethics committee in May passed a bill to kick him out of the parliament.
In a plenary session held later Wednesday, however, the bill was rejected in a 111-134 vote with 14 votes ruled invalid. A two-thirds majority of approval votes is needed to unseat a lawmaker.
Former President Kim Young-sam has been the only case of a national legislator getting ousted from parliament in South Korean history. In 1979, the then opposition leader Kim was expelled from the National Assembly as part of political oppression by the then authoritarian government.