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Many Candidates are Arousing Suspicions on Reduction of Property

Many Candidates are Arousing Suspicions on Reduction of Property

Posted April. 01, 2004 22:37,   


The registration period for running for the 17th general election closed on April 1 in all cities, districts, and territories.

Accordingly, each candidate will begin an official campaign from April 2 to midnight April 14. After the absentee voting on April 9 and 10, voting will be done from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. on April 15 at 13,000 voting booths. The total number of voters is 35,606,832.

According to the National Election Committee, the average competitive rate is 3.6:1 up to now, 4:10 p.m. April 1, with 872 persons’ registers at 243 voting districts.

However, it is expected that final competitive rate for local constituencies will be about 5:1 due to candidates’ final last minute rush.

Classified by district, Chungnam is the most competitive district with a 5.1:1 rate, with 51 persons registered at 10 voting districts, followed by Seoul 3.4:1 (162 people), Busan 3.9:1 (70), Daegu 4.2:1 (50), Kwangju 4.0:1 (28), Kyungki 2.9:1 (142), Chunbuk 4.2:1 (46), and Kyungbuk 4.0:1 (60).

Classified by age, those in their forties constitute 39.1 percent (341 people), thirties constitute 12.8 percent (112), and twenties constitute 0.7 percent (6). Considering those below forties constitute 56.2 percent of all candidates, the phenomenon of the change of generations was prominent.

Suspicion in many candidates’ report on previous conviction by property, military service, and tax problem, such as speculation of real estate, reduction, omission, or hiding of property, will be brought up during the campaign as a hot issue. In particular, 20 candidates have been revealed to have not paid any taxes for five years.

A certain candidate of Seoul was discovered to possess 10 houses, which are owned by himself and his wife, and another candidate of Seoul was found to have reported his 33 pyong and 45 pyong apartment as 120 million won and 240 million won, which are much less than average prices. An independent candidate for Chungnam has paid just 14,000 won in taxes for five years, even though his total property was reported as 2,279 million won. Also, 20 percent of the candidates have previous convictions.

Young-Chan Yoon yyc11@donga.com