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GNP: Audits Timed to Affect Election

Posted February. 11, 2006 06:33,   


The results of local government audits across the nation published by the Board of Audit and Inspection have caused a stir because the opposition party is denouncing them as “targeted audits,” GNP officials announced yesterday.

The ruling party will conduct a parliamentary investigation on February 10.

The main opposition Grand National Party`s (GNP) floor leader Lee Jae-oh said, “The results of the audit carried out ahead of local elections represent an illicit attempt to indoctrinate the public with the idea that the GNP is untrustworthy.”

Sim Jae-yeop, chairman of the local government committee, suggested, “Some media outlets ran reports that the Board of Audit and Inspection was planning to conduct a special audit on Cheonggyecheon in November, and that was aimed at undermining the ‘Cheonggyecheon effect’ achieved by Seoul Mayor Lee Myung-bak.”

A spokesperson of the Millennium Democratic Party (MDP) said, “The heads of local governments do have problems with abusing the right to implement personnel management and waste the budget, but making the audit results public just before the local elections is nothing but an abuse of inspection authority.”

In contrast, the ruling Uri Party seemed to take the revelation of irregularities in local and provincial governments as a good opportunity because it has decided to pursue a parliamentary inspection, saying, “The irregularities turned out to be worse than expected.”

Uri Party Chairman Yoo Jay-kun suggested at the party’s emergency executive committee, “I am considering introducing a system that other advanced nations have in place where local governments can declare bankruptcy.” Meanwhile, the Board of Audit and Inspection has decided to aggressively respond to the resistance of some heads of local governments who they say are willing to file lawsuits.

Chin-Ku Lee Min-Hyuk Park sys1201@donga.com mhpark@donga.com