SEOUL-- The minor opposition People's Party on Monday apologized over a fake tip-off scandal and pledged sweeping reform hours after the prosecution indicted two former party campaigners involved.
The party, which was launched last year under the motto of "clean, new politics," faces its worst crisis after a party member was accused last month of fabricating an election-season allegation against President Moon Jae-in's son.
"To ensure that such a thing will never happen again, we will take reform measures to overhaul the party system, including establishing an apparatus tasked with verifying every little tip-off," the party said in a statement read by Park Joo-sun, its interim leader.
"We will thoroughly repent as we believe that we can never avoid the responsibility for failing to discover a party member's illegal acts. We will take it as an opportunity to reform our party system and then stand again before you, citizens," he added.
Park also said that his party would take disciplinary action against those involved in the scandal in line with party rules.
Wrapping up its monthlong probe, the prosecution concluded the party's grandees, including former presidential candidate Ahn Cheol-soo, were not involved in the scandal. But it charged Kim Seong-ho and Kim In-won, who were in the party's election panel, with violating the election law about disclosing false information during the election campaign earlier this year.
The party's campaign used the fabricated tip-off to back its claim that Moon's son gained a full-time job at a public agency in 2006 thanks to the influence of his father who was then a presidential secretary.
The party is set to hold a national convention on Aug. 27 in Seoul to pick its new leadership. Its top post has been vacant since former leader Park Jie-won resigned on May 10 to take responsibility for the humiliating defeat in the presidential vote.
The priority for the new leader will be to move the party beyond the scandal and regroup it ahead of the gubernatorial and mayoral elections next year, which are seen as a public referendum on Moon's first year in office.
Source: Yonhap News Agency