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Huge Campaign Funds Sent to District Chapters during Presidential Election

Huge Campaign Funds Sent to District Chapters during Presidential Election

Posted December. 12, 2003 23:07,   


On December 12, Rep. Kwon Oh-eul of the Grand National Party (GNP) and Rep. Kim Duk-bae of the Uri Party voluntarily publicized the scale of campaign funds transferred from the central party to district chapters in last year’s presidential election, an issue which has been receiving widespread attention. Rep. Kwon said in a CBS radio show, “Officially, a district chapter has a maximum limit, like one in Andong has a limit of 120 million won for its campaign fund…. We understand that the campaign funds distributed in each district chapter in last year’s presidential election were approximately that amount.”

He also said, “There were an additional 100 million won sent to the districts where the competition was fiercest, and the districts where there was less competition received less money. It is definitely true that there has been more support from the central party than during the 1997 presidential election five years ago.”

Rep. Kim, chief deputy head of the Uri Party in the National Assembly, said, “For the presidential election, 20 to 80 million won in campaign funds were transferred to the accounts of district chapters.”

With the assumption that the mentioned amounts were transferred to the district chapters, the scope of the financial support that the 227 district chapters of both parties received nationwide was approximately 23 billion won for Lee Hoi-chang’s camp and 15 to 18 billion won for Roh Moo-hyun’s camp.

Rep. Kim, however, reversed his previous statement after being criticized by his fellow representatives who stated there was a misunderstanding by saying, “After checking with an accounting officer, the central party provided 57 million won in total, of which 30 million won were campaign funds and 27 million won were for the district chapters’ management costs.” On the other hand, Rep. Lee Sang-soo of the Uri Party, who was the head of general affairs for Roh’s camp, insisted that “the total amount of money transferred to district chapters was 6,898 million won. The ones in Seoul and the Gyeonggi area received 30 million won each.”

Yong-Gwan Jung Myoung-Gun Lee yongari@donga.com gun43@donga.com