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Lllegal Campaign Watch Activity Getting Stronger

Posted June. 11, 2002 00:30,   


Illegal campaign watch group operates 24-hours= Ahn Sang-soo, a Grand National Party (GNP) candidate for Inchon City Mayor has been operating an illegal campaign watch group consisted of 10 to 20 members since June 9th. His rival Park Sang-eun from the Millenium Democratic Party (MDP) also formed a watch group on June 10th. GNP`s Jo Hae-nyung and an independent candidate Lee Jae-yong for Daegu City Mayor are also involved in illegal campaign activities to check each other.

Jo said, "I formed a watch group to operate 24 hours a day to stop my rival party from doing any illegal behavior in the campaign." Lee also said, "Some 2,000 volunteers are closely watching out for any irregularities by GNP`s Jo. Recently, one of those volunteers found out GNP`s illegal election activity."

High-tech equipment & compensation are ready= Some candidates are using a digital camcoder, camera and high-quality recorder to secure evidence of illegal campaigns. GNP`s Yum Hong-chul running for Daejon City Mayor deployed watch group members equipped with a camera and recorder to catch illegal scenes. His rival Hong Sun-gi from the United Liberal Democrats (ULD) party is also watching closely his opposing party`s activities with various devices.

GNP`s Park Maeng-woo and Democratic Labor party`s Song Chul-ho running for Ulsan City Mayor said, "We will provide compensation money to watch group members who catch illegal scenes with a camera or camcoder."

Civic groups are getting busy="Voters` Movement For Transparent Election" formed by some 39 civic groups in Seoul is accepting illegal campaign cases through a phone and its Internet homepage. A related official said, "We are getting many cases where campaign members give away bribes at various informal gatherings. They give away a meal voucher or some amount of money."

"Inchon Solidarity For Peace and Participation" also set up a call center (032-431-8311) to allow the public to report any illegal campaign activities and is operating a secret watching group. "Civic Group Association For Fair Election" including Inchon YWCA has recently sent civic monitoring members to each candidate`s office and did the same to candidates for Inchon City Mayor on June 10th.

"Daejon Citizen Group Solidarity" consisted of some 13 local civic groups is running an illegal campaign watch group comprised of some 60 members. Other various government workers` unions are also getting calls about government officials` illegal behavior during campaign.

National Election Commission (NEC) raise its alarming level=A NEC office in North Choongchung province said, "We are receiving some 200 to 300 calls a day. We cannot do our work due to those reporting calls." An Ulsan NEC official said, "A watch group consisted of citizen and staff is running together. We plan to work harder especially on the day before the local election day."