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Kwon of DLP Issues Election Pledges

Posted November. 22, 2002 22:45,   


Kwon Young-ghil, the presidential candidate of the Democratic Labor Party(DLP) said on Nov. 21 that if elected, he would raise 34 trillion won in fund every year through budget cut and new sources of tax revenue to provide medical service and education service for free of charge.

He said in an interview with the Donga Ilbo that he would impose heavier taxes on high-income brackets including chaebols. He said the envisioned plan was in a bid to promote the basic welfare sector and to reduce the number of temporary workers, thereby dramatically improving social equality.

Kwon said that he could raise 11 trillion won by introducing a new tax levied on the rich, 6.8 trillion won by preventing tax evasion, 8.8 trillion won by reducing defense budget and 1.7 trillion won by creating stock-transfer tax.

In particular he argued that the nation should reduce the number of military forces by 200,000 and the service period to 18 months. He added that even with the downsizing of the military, the nation could reinforce its military build-up if it reform the military system and reduce the number of high-ranking military officials.

“The government should guarantee the civil service union the rights of organization, collective action and collective bargaining. The government should promote the civil service union so that it can function as an internal watchdog against corruption of high-ranking public officials. Once the public accept the union as a contributor to the national development, we should allow the police to form their own.” Kwon said, “In order to strengthen the public welfare service, the nation needs a big government.”

Regarding education, Kwon said, “I will abolish the College Scholastic Aptitude Test(CSAT), which is a relative evaluation, and introduce an absolute evaluation system so that all qualified students can go to college.”

He also expressed his confidence that his party would secure five to ten parliamentary seats in general elections set for 2004."

Asked if his good performance could hurt Roh Moo-hyun, the presidential candidate of the Millennium Democratic Party(MDP), he emphasized that from the perspective of laborers, farmers and the poor, Roh was neither liberal, nor reformative. He added he would never withdraw from the race.

Jong-Koo Yoon jkmas@donga.com