SEOUL, Jan. 26 (Yonhap) – Main opposition leader Lee Jae-myung accused President Yoon Suk Yeol on Friday of interfering in the affairs of the ruling People Power Party and covering up suspicions of wrongdoing involving the first lady.

The comments followed Yoon's public clash with Han Dong-hoon, the chief of the ruling People Power Party (PPP), over allegations that first lady Kim Keon Hee received a luxury bag as a gift in 2022 and concerns about party nominations for the upcoming general elections in April.

"The president is not only failing to communicate with the public but is also actively involved in concealing suspicions surrounding the first lady, blatant interference in party matters, and meddling in elections," said Rep. Lee, the chairman of the main opposition Democratic Party (DP).

Amid fears that the rift could harm the PPP with the elections fewer than 80 days away, Yoon and Han, considered one of his closest confidants since their time as prosecutors, met impromptu at the site of a market fire earlier this week.

Lee further urged Yoon to focus on addressing issues related to people's livelihoods and to stay away from politics, saying the PPP is focused on populist strategies and power struggles.

The DP leader further emphasized that aligning with specific political forces or intervening in party affairs could potentially violate the law.

His remarks seemed to target the controversy surrounding Yoon's reported disagreement with Han's public support for a PPP emergency leadership committee member seeking to run for a parliamentary seat in a district in Seoul's Mapo Ward.

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