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October 26 By-Elections Will Be Held in Four Electoral Districts

October 26 By-Elections Will Be Held in Four Electoral Districts

Posted September. 30, 2005 08:12,   


It was finally decided that the National Assembly reelections and by-elections, scheduled for October 26, will be held in four electoral districts nationwide: Dong Eul2, Daegu; Buk, Ulsan; Wonmi Gap, Bucheon, Gyeonggi Province; and Gwangju, Gyeonggi Province.

In the September 29 trial of Representative Cho Seung-soo of the Democratic Labor Party (Buk, Ulsan), who was indicted on charge of violating the election law, the Supreme Court upheld its original ruling to sentence the defendant to 1.5 million won in fines, which is tantamount to an invalidation of his election. Accordingly, Cho lost his seat at the National Assembly the same day.

Regarding representatives Kang Sung-jong of the governing Uri Party and Shin Sang-jin of the Grand National Party (GNP), who faced punishment equivalent to invalidation of their election or deprivation of their lawmaker posts in their second trials, however, the Supreme Court reversed the original decisions and remanded the cases to the Seoul High Court and the Seoul Central District Court, respectively. This means that these lawmakers will be able to keep their seats in the National Assembly for the moment.

In Wonmi Gap, Bucheon, Gyeonggi Province, former Representative Lee Sang-soo of the Uri Party, Operating Committee Chair Lim Hae-gyu of the GNP’s Party Member Association, Attorney Cho Yong-ik of the Democratic Party, and Chairman Lee Geun-seon of the DLP’s Wonmi District Committee have already waged an election campaign war against each other after successfully being nominated as each party’s candidates.

In Gwangju, Gyeonggi Province, the Uri Party and the Democratic Party have determined to nominate Lee Jong-sang, former special advisor on policy to the chairman of the National Assembly, and Chairman Lee Sang-yoon of the party’s Organization Committee, respectively. In the GNP, Jeong Jin-seop, special advisor on policy to the Gyeonggi provincial governor, is waiting for the party’s Operating Committee to make the final voting to decide his nomination.

In Daegu Dong Eul, Lee Gang-cheol, the former senior presidential secretary for civil society who is in a “comradely relationship” with President Roh Moo-hyun, is seeking his fifth run at a National Assembly seat after losing four elections. The GNP has yet to decide on its candidate for the electoral district, however, because as many as 15 applicants have bid for the nomination. The DLP recently nominated Choi Geun-don, the Social Insurance Union’s former manager of the Daegu-North Gyeongsang Province headquarters, as its candidate.

In Ulsan Buk, Policy Director Lee Soo-dong of the Uri Party’s Ulsan City branch, and former Administrative Deputy Mayor Park Jae-taek of Ulsan are preparing for the election campaign as possible candidates for the Uri Party. Some members of the ruling party’s Central Party suggest the strategic nomination of Lee Han-ho, the Air Force chief of the general staff, whose hometown is Ulju County, Ulsan, and whose term will expire soon.

For the GNP, former Representative Yoon Do-hwan, Municipal Lawmaker Kang Seok-gu of Ulsan City, and Attorney Shim Jang-soo expressed their willingness to run for the National Assembly seats. For the DLP, Chung Gap-deuk, former leader of the Hyundai Motors Union, and Chung Chang-yoon, chairman of the party’s Ulsan City branch announced they would run for election.

Jung-Hun Kim jnghn@donga.com jin0619@donga.com