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Election Commission Role Could Expand

Posted January. 20, 2006 04:53,   


The National Election Commission (NEC) has decided to propose a law to the National Assembly allowing it to manage leadership elections for quasi-public social organization, such as private universities, the Korean Veterans Association, the Chamber of Commerce and major labor unions, if asked.

To raise voter turnout in the national elections, the NEC is also considering measures to exempt those who have already voted from paying national and public park entrance fees, making whether one voted in the previous election a mandatory public official recruitment question, and linking it with the introduction of electronic voting system.

In an exclusive interview with Dong-A Ilbo yesterday, Kim Ho-yeol, the director general of the NEC said regarding commissioning elections for the head of social organizations, “The organizations eligible for commission and management will be limited to those in which corrupt elections could harm the public or those created by a special act, such as the Korean Veterans Association.”

He explained, “The NEC currently takes charge of elections for private and social organizations on commission, but there is no legal basis for this, so we are accepting cases in a very limited way based on court decisions.”

If the NEC manages elections for the heads of social organizations on commission, it could improve Korea’s election culture in the wake of the controversy surrounding the elections.

“When the electronic voting system is introduced, we can use voting data in a variety of useful ways because it will be possible to know whether a certain person voted or not,” he said.

Kang-Myoung Chang tesomiom@donga.com