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17th Election Already Ruined by Illegality

Posted March. 16, 2004 22:49,   


With the 17th national election one month away, the chronic evil election practices such as bribes are being reported in a steady stream.

A female with the family name “Gu” (51) whose husband is about to run for office in Incheon, was kept in custody for suggesting to her husband’s rival candidate: “If you resign your candidacy and work for my husband as a head of his campaign, I’ll give you 1 million won in cash.”

In the Uri Party’s candidacy nomination race in Daejeon, a male with the family name “Cha” (43) was kept in custody under suspicion of illegally creating eight voters in his electorate by reopening 30 cell phone numbers that were missing numbers, and requesting these eight persons as the voters of nomination race.

A female with the family name “Goh” (47) was also kept custody by the police. She posted a fake story including the sentence “X politician, a politic swindler, has had affairs with reporters” 161 times in a readers’ column section of a journalism company’s website and her slandering targeted 24 politicians.

A homeless person on the street was put under restraint on charges of intimidating a candidate-to-be. A bum having family name “Bak” (39) and another intimidated a candidate-to-be, saying. “If you don’t give us 10,000 won, we’ll destroy your car.” They went to jail on charges of extorting 20,00 won from the victim.

According to the Supreme Public Prosecutors’s Office’s statistics on controlling illegalities related to the election, the total number of crimes reported until now was 737 cases, which increased two times more than the 16th national election’s crime record of 356 during the same time period.

Ahn Chang-ho, a prosecutor in charge of public security at the Supreme Public Prosecutors’s Office said, “A reason for the ever-growing number of election offenses lies in the fierce competition in an overheating election, but the biggest factor is the prosecutor’s scrutinizing control, which is unprecedented.”

On March 16, presiding Prosecutor General Song Kwang-soo and the head of the Public Security Department, Hong Kyung-sik of the Supreme Public Prosecutors’s Office held a sign-hanging ceremony which read “Election Situation Room,” and announced its 24-hour investigation system.

Tae-Hoon Lee jefflee@donga.com