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Election Watchdog Chief Seen to Reject National Assembly’s Demands

Election Watchdog Chief Seen to Reject National Assembly’s Demands

Posted March. 01, 2004 22:49,   


“Don’t shake us anymore.”

The National Election Commission (NEC) said on March 1 that it will take on congressional demands for its chairman’s presence at a congressional session and attempt to impeach him head-on.

The NEC has decided to reject the call by the National Assembly on its chairman, Yoo Ji-tae, to be present at a session. It will notify the assembly of its decision in writing on March 2. The watchdog also stressed that it would strictly judge without any political consideration whether President Roh Moo-hyun had violated election regulations at a general meeting scheduled for March 3.

The election watchdog’s head-on approach was due to a sense of crisis within the organization, which claims that a further retreat will end up shaking the very foundation of the commission.

In a telephone interview with Dong-A, a high official of the commission said, “Does it make sense when players order their referee around before the game begins and go so far as to fire him?” He said, “Chairman Yoo will resign rather than be impeached.”

The Grand National Party and the Millennium Democratic Party have reiterated their impeachment plans and other hard-line positions. “Yoo got around the demand for his presence at the National Assembly in December of last year on the pretext of the commission’s independence.” Rep. Hong Sa-duck, GNP floor leader, said, “He cannot be condoned when he does not do what he is supposed to do while remaining apologetic.”

Min-Hyuk Park mhpark@donga.com