PPP lawmaker leaves party over illegal political fund allegations

Rep. Ha Young-je of the ruling People Power Party (PPP) on Wednesday announced his departure from the party amid allegations of receiving illegal political funds.

"I leave the PPP today so as to not put even the small burden on the party," Ha said in a written statement, adding he will undergo pending legal proceedings "sincerely."

The freshman lawmaker was indicted Tuesday on charges of violating the Political Funds Act. He is accused of receiving a total of 167.5 million won (US$127,000) in illicit political funds from unidentified municipal heads and provincial lawmakers in South Gyeongsang Province from March 2020 to June 2022.

Despite the departure, Ha said he will make efforts not to disrupt provincial projects, such as a push to establish a national aeronautics administration in Sacheon, about 300 kilometers southeast of Seoul, and the planned construction of an undersea tunnel connecting the southern coastal cities of Yeosu and Namhae, due to his situation.

Source: Yonhap News Agency