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Hot Debate on Roh’s Presidential Campaign Fund Between MDP and Uri Party

Hot Debate on Roh’s Presidential Campaign Fund Between MDP and Uri Party

Posted November. 09, 2003 22:51,   


Contention on the issue of the illegal presidential campaign funds between the Millennium Democratic Party (MDP) and Uri Party is continuing to grow.

As MDP’s special committee for examination of illegal presidential election funds took the offensive against an allegation of then-candidate Roh Moo-hyun’s camp’s illegal fundraising on Nov. 9, Uri party retorted that MDP is making a false attempt of political attack which is based on practical mistakes.

Suspicion on “contributing donation money” from an Election Polling Committee employee: While mentioning that a staff member named Mr. Ahn, who had worked under Rep. Lee Sang-soo, the head of general affairs in then-candidate Roh’s election polling committee during the presidential election, had reportedly donated 160 million won, Rep. Choi Myung-hyun, a chairman of the special committee for examination of illegal presidential campaign funds of MDP, raised a suspicion on the origin of the money.

In particular, given the fact that these receipts were issued in January and February 2003, just after the presidential election, Rep. Choi insisted that there should be “some unexplainable reasons.” His remarks were meant to point out that there could be a fabrication of the accounting facts after having randomly accepted money from here and there during the presidential campaign season.

Against Rep. Choi’s remarks, Rep. Lee Hwa-young, a leader of the planning team of the Uri Party, released a press report and said, “Mr. Ahn, who is in question, didn’t pay any money, but a clerk of then-MDP’s Seoul district office casually put his name on it, and no one in the Seoul district office replied they were aware of it.”

Suspicion on systematically receiving businesses’ financial support: Chairman Choi said, “Rep. Lim Chae-jeong donated 100 million won under his name to a supporter’s association of the Inchon district office on December 2 last year, and a receipt indicating that 20 million won had been sent to Seoul district office on December 24 was found.” Choi stressed that it should be made clear whether the money was from Rep. Lim’s pocket, or if only his name was used for the donation.

Regarding the question that there were the aides’ name such as Rep. Chon Jung-bae and Rep. Lee Sang-soo along with the list of contributors on the originals of the receipts, Choi urged that the reason why member aides of the Uri Party were written along with the list, and what they actually have done for fund-raising, should be thoroughly disclosed to the public.

Uri Party replied, “100 million won of donation was from a certain company introduced by Rep. Lim and therefore Lim’s name was noted down on top of the receipt, and 20 million won was donated by Rep. Lim as a personal supporter.” Regarding the receipt of 640 million won on which the names of Representative aides Lee Sang-soo and Chon Jung-bae were noted, Uri Party announced that it had been simply done in that way for indicating the involved aides who introduced supporters or guided them.

Suspicion on unofficial fund-raisings by every district chapter: Chairman Choi asserted, “So far, we have been receiving some information that then-candidate Roh’s close aides had kept a list of potential contributors and directly received money from companies and individuals. In addiion, the size of slush funds for the presidential campaign from every district chapter is assumed to be quite large.”

Additionally, he said that it is doubtful how the accounting report could have been prepared even though the originals of the 654 receipts handed over to Jeju district chapter by Rep. Lee Sang-soo, after the presidential election, had no information of contributors’ names and addresses on it.

Yong-Gwan Jung Seung-Heon Lee yongari@donga.com ddr@donga.com