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NEC Allows Gatherings during Election Period

Posted September. 18, 2002 22:35,   


The National Election Committee (NEC) withdrew its initial position yesterday to ban family and social gatherings such as alumni associations during the presidential election period from Nov. 27 to Dec. 19.

The NEC announced the specific guideline to crack down on family and social gatherings during the election period and allowed social gatherings that do not violate the guideline even during the election period.

The NEC said it would ban gatherings in following cases.

△ If a politician or his wife chairs or hosts a gathering.

△ If politicians and their spouses provide meal, gifts or souvenirs.

△ If politicians appeal participants to support or oppose a certain political party or presidential candidate.

△ If a presidential candidate or his wife attends a gathering.

Under the NEC guideline, politicians include presidential candidates, heads of local governments, and heads of political party chapters. Also major figures of political parties, high-ranking officials of party chapters and administrators in charge of electoral affairs will be banned to provide gifts, meals or souvenirs.

The NEC initially banned family and social gatherings during the presidential election period. But it decided to partially allow such gatherings as there has been mounting criticism that the half-baked measures would restrict the basic right guaranteed by the constitution and cause great inconveniences in the everyday life of the public.

The NEC decided to submit a new draft, which would be much more eased to meet the new guideline to the National Assembly any time soon.

Jeong-Hun Kim jnghn@donga.com