A South Korean adoptee won a seat in the French Senate in the country's parliamentary election on Sunday, becoming the first ethnic Korean to advance to France's top political body, reports Yonhap News Agency.
Jean-Vincent Place, 43, who was adopted by a French family in the 1970s and grew to become a politician, was elected as a French senator after running in a constituency of the province of Ile de France on the leftist Green Party ticket.
Born in Seoul in 1968, Place was adopted by a French lawmaker and his wife at the age of seven and became a naturalized French citizen two years later. He majored in economics in college, and began his career as a financial auditor.
* * *
Less than a month prior to Sunday's election, Place was embroiled in a racist controversy as Alain Marleix, a lawmaker of French President Nicolas Sarkozy's conservative Union for a Popular Movement, accused him of being a "Korean national" and warned him of "paying a price," prompting the then-leading candidate to consider a lawsuit in response, according to local media reports.
Still hoping for change
22 hours ago