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Exercise Your One Vote to Vote Out the Unqualified

Posted June. 12, 2002 23:41,   


The third regional election will be held on June 13 from 6 AM to 6 PM at 13,461 polling booths to elect government officials and councilmen.

Voter participation is particularly important as this election will solidify the “grass roots democracy” in the 21st Century as well as to select regional representatives for the next 4 years.

In particular, budget for the regional governments total 72,393 billion Won, which is nearly 70% of the central government (105 trillion Won in general accounting). As such, it is alll the more important to elect competent and clean candidates with plans for regional development.

Bong-Ho Sohn, professor at the Seoul National University (Department of Social Education) pointed out, “Interest in the election would be weak due to the FIFA World Cup fever, so incompetent candidates who can muster money, connections and organization are bound to be elected,” and added, “candidates who hand out unrealistic pledges or negative campaign must be shunned from the political arena.”

Eui-Shik Kim (professor of public administration at Kyunggi University), head of Regional Governmental Affairs at the Citizens’ Coalition for Economic Justice, stressed “We’ve passed the times of direct rule by the central government, so we need to elect qualified candidates for governors and mayors as well as the President.”

Experts urged voters that they must exercise their right to vote for the advancement of democracy as this election serves as an evaluation of party politics and each political party’s ability to run the government in this first election where voters will vote for parties rather than candidates.

Ji-Dam Yoo, Chairman of the National Election Committee, said in a national address on June 12, “True power of the people comes not from loud voices of criticism but from quite participation of voters.” He urged, “No matter how busy you are, stop by the polling booth to exercise your precious vote.”

Yoo added, “Don’t vote for candidates who engage in negative campaign. Those who buy their way into election will end up depleting the treasury and get involved in improper dealings, while those who appeal to connections will likely break national unity.”

Jeong-Hun Kim jnghn@donga.com