Go to contents

Roh Targets Illegal Election Activity

Posted January. 14, 2006 03:00,   


President Roh Moo-hyun said yesterday that “recent allegations that the ruling Uri Party’s members recruited fake members and paid membership fees without their knowledge should not be tolerated. Such scams undermine the roots of democracy. Those who violated the law will be punished after a thorough investigation and crackdown.”

While presiding over a ministerial meeting on local election corruption prevention at Cheong Wa Dae, President Roh said, “We cannot mention political reform without eliminating illegal activities related to the party’s local elections.”

He added, “I have some worries that the clampdown and investigation into election irregularities may be focused on a particular party, but the relative authorities should be determined to investigate the allegations.” He went on to say that “corruption cases related to local elections within the party are not confined to the party’s problem any more.”

The government announced that it will form a police-prosecution joint task force aimed at investigating election activities, which will take the hard line approach coupled with searching and seizing and tracking bank accounts. Some raised concerns because such hard line investigations might bring about issues about fairness in investigations.

The government plans to investigate irregularities involving local elections as swiftly as possible in a bid to have the investigation results reflected in the election outcome. In an effort to expedite the investigation, it will raise the ceiling of reward money for reporting corruption cases from 50 million won to 300 million won and push for a promotion system for election committee members and civil servants who are in charge of cracking down on illegal election activities.

Along with the measures, the prosecution will hold a meeting of deputy chief public prosecutors in charge of election activities on January 16 and discuss ways to clamp down on four major irregularities undermining clean and fair elections: illegal activities regarding party conventions and recommendations, illegal election funds, negative campaigns, and the involvement of public servants in elections.

Yeon-Wook Jung Kang-Myoung Chang jyw11@donga.com tesomiom@donga.com