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GNP Criticizes Alleged Preliminary Election Campaigning

Posted July. 19, 2005 03:22,   


It is being reported that on July 18, the Grand National Party (GNP) considers Presidential Special Aide in charge of political affairs Kim Doo-gwan’s recent continuous provincial tour meetings as preliminary election campaigning and decided to ask for an authoritative interpretation to the National Election Commission (NEC) whether it is a violation of election laws or not.

The NEC showed a careful position by commenting, “If an authoritative interpretation is requested, we will then review it.”

After receiving a report from GNP Secretary General Kim Moo-sung at the party’s standing management committee meeting that “Special Aide Kim is holding a so-called ‘tour meeting to listen to the voice of the people’ and is saying things such as ‘the ratio of head of provincial governments should be changed from the current two (ruling party) to eight (opposition party) to 5:5 or 6:4,’” the GNP decided to take a course of action.

The secretary general also added that Special Aide Kim, who is recently touring 16 cities and provinces and holding meetings, often goes to Cheong Wa Dae and tells administrative officials at the Cheong Wa Dae Secretariat to prepare for elections.

Prior to that, at a special lecture for the members of the Coalition for Political Participation in Busan on July 15, a branch political organization of the Uri Party, Kim expressed concerns over the ruling party’s preparation for regional elections.

He pointed out, “Currently, Cheong Wa Dae’s working-level officials such as secretaries and bureau chiefs are preparing to run for provincial elections, but are reluctant to go to the region, citing that they will do so around November after being promoted to a higher rank.”

“I am encouraging them, calling them (soon to be) provincial governor or (soon to be) Ku Office (Ward Office) Administrator, but they still lack seriousness,” said Special Aide Kim, expressing his discontent.

He also added, “Presidential Chief Secretary for Civil Affairs Moon Jae-in has various circumstances so he won’t be running in next year’s Busan mayoral elections. I also thought I was the sole candidate for governor of Gyeongnam, but there are two or three other candidates.”

At the GNP standing management committee meeting Secretary General Kim criticized the Uri Party’s Gyeongnam branch holding an Explanation Session for the Transfer of Public Institutions to Provincial Residents on July 19 at Masan Field as “A classical preliminary election campaign to make it favorable for them at the regional elections by giving the impression that the ruling party had a big role in relocating public institutions.”

On such criticism from the opposition party, Special Aide Kim refuted this, saying, “The tour is to listen to the voice of people in order to convey it to the president, and it is an ordinary political activity. Since a special aide is not an official government official, it can be approved to a certain level. I don’t think that it is a violation of election laws at all.”

Seung-Heon Lee ddr@donga.com