US presidential candidate accused of sexual harassment

By IANS/RIA Novosti,

Washington: Two US women have complained of “inappropriate behaviour” from Herman Cain, a presidential Republican frontrunner, the Politico newspaper said Monday.

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Cain, 65, and his campaign have declined to elaborate on the issue.

The women worked for the National Restaurant Association during Cain’s tenure as its head in 1996-99.

Sources told the Politico that the women complained of sexually suggestive behaviour by Cain that made them angry and uncomfortable.

They said the restaurant group offered them agreements and payouts to leave the organisation and keep silent on the matter.

Cain himself said he has had thousands of people working for him at different businesses over the years and that could not comment until he saw “some facts or some concrete evidence”.

The sources also described to the newspaper the episodes that left the women upset and offended.

These incidents included conversations allegedly filled with innuendos or personal questions of a sexually suggestive nature. They took place at hotels during conferences, at officially sanctioned restaurant association events and at the association’s offices.

Presidential elections in the US are expected in November 2012.