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Government Set to Allow Disclosure of Opinion Polls Seven Days Ahead of Elections

Government Set to Allow Disclosure of Opinion Polls Seven Days Ahead of Elections

Posted April. 20, 2004 21:14,   


The government is seeking to revise the election law allowing opinion polls to go public as late as seven days ahead of elections instead of the current 14 days.

In its report on the need for an election law amendment submitted to a Cabinet meeting on April 20, the Ministry of Government Administration and Home Affairs said, “Although opinion polls were not publicized during the election campaign period, the media effectively reported on them as part of their analyses.” It added, “A variety of data were in circulation, which prompts the need to shorten the moratorium on the opinion polls.”

As joint speech sessions have been abolished and online campaigns expanded, some parts of the electorate such as senior citizens had difficulty in accessing information about candidates, the ministry said. “Offline campaign activities such as street banners should be expanded. Candidates should be required to attend broadcasting debates and one-on-one candidate debates should be encouraged.”

It said an amendment is needed to expand the hours for absentee votes from 10:00 a.m. through 4:00 p.m. to 10:00 a.m. through 8:00 p.m. Regulations should be rewritten so absentee votes can include staff at legations, overseas residents, airline employees, bus drivers, students studying abroad, and those who have to work on election days.

Meanwhile, the government will promptly take disciplinary action against the National Teachers’ Union and National Civil Servants’ Union for their endorsement of a political party during the campaign. It will also conduct an inspection of some elected local government officials who clandestinely supported candidates of their parties.

Jung-Hun Kim jnghn@donga.com