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Uri Office Demanded Cash from Nominees

Posted April. 18, 2006 03:01,   


The ruling Uri Party’s Gyeonggi Office has recently come under scrutiny for demanding that nominee applicants for proportional representatives of metropolitan cities and local governments pay money “to share the expenses spent for election campaigns.”

On April 17, the party’s Gyeonggi Office said that it had demanded that applicants make advance payment in a posting on the Internet, and withheld it after receiving fierce criticism.

The amount of money the party wanted was 10 million won more than the amount restricted by the election law of the Gyeonggi area--48-98 million won, in the case of the proportional representative of a local government. Applicants for the metropolitan city representative are said to have been required up to 145 million won.

Under the Gyeonggi Office’s plan, applicants for the district representative had to pay after they are nominated, but specific amount was not decided yet, one applicant said.

The Uri Party, however, decided to withhold the plan at a meeting at the headquarters on April 16 after some of the applicants refused to contribute, saying, “The party does not allow poor people even to apply for posts.”

Lawmaker Kim Hyun-mi, head of the party’s Gyeonggi Office, said, “From this election, candidates for proportional representatives of local governments should send campaign pamphlets to all the constituents in their own district. But the party cannot afford to send as many as 8.2 million copies. That is why the office decided to collect money from applicants to have them pay for their own copies.”

“The money is not a political contribution in exchange for nomination at all. So it is not illegal.” said Kim, “The headquarters should allow local offices to collect from the applicants as a way to provide the party with the money spent in the elections.

The Millennium Democratic Party (MDP)’s headquarters is inspecting its South Jeolla Office for collecting money from applicants for the post of governor.

An insider of the MDP said, “At the representatives meeting in last February, the party concluded to receive special contribution from applicants who are selected as nominees since the party is funded only 1.9 billion won from the nation. But some party members collected money from applicants even before the nomination and were harshly accused. So the headquarters is looking into them.”

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