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[Editorial] Candidates, Not Paying A Penny of Taxes

Posted June. 01, 2002 08:45,   


It is very hard to understand that 998 candidates, a share of 9.1 percent of the total registered candidates in the local elections, have not paid a penny of taxes including income tax, properties tax, and composite land tax for the latest three years.

Of course, there are candidates who lived in frugal way not to afford to pay taxes, but we wonder how many candidates are categorized that way. Also it is doubtful whether persons of not paying a penny of taxes have the capacity of managing the autonomous administrations on behalf of local residents. The problem becomes more serious as it is very hard to sort out realistically candidates among 998 candidates who stored away properties elsewhere and conducted tax evasions.

Several days ago, a statistics showing 1,361 candidates, a 12.4 percent share of the total registered candidates, have criminal records. Even though some are indicted for doing democratic movement, it is said that about 80 percent of the candidates having criminal past committed crimes such as swindling, embezzlement, assault, stealing, and driving under alcoholic influences and escaping from the police inspection. When tax evasion candidates are added to the statistics, the problems of the qualities and capacity of the candidates of the local elections are really serious.

In addition to this, already some candidates have cheated voters with unrealistic platform and promises, and the attacks on opposites with under the belt remarks, which make even worse the election campaigns. Already the Election Management Commission has caught a campaigner who delivered money to voters. The local elections this time shadowed by the heat of the World Cup is going to be an unfair and corrupted election compares to the past elections.

Even that is the case, much criticism is pouring that the local elections may select an under qualified persons rather than able persons who can work for the regions, because the financial capacity or regional kinship are major factors deciding the election results. The reason the irregularities of local autonomous administrative head or local councils are exposed continually is due to the ballot casting habit of voters favoring some one they know without checking the candidates in an objective manner.

When that kind of candidates selected again, the development of autonomous local governments is hard to come by. If the autonomous local system should take root deeply, first of all, the voters need to inspect completely the past actions or morality of each candidate.