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Roh Calls for Nomination Fraud Probe

Posted April. 19, 2006 02:59,   


President Roh Moo-hyun said on April 18, “It is wrong that the prosecution and police have failed to probe actively the allegation that several senior lawmakers of the Grand National Party (GNP) took bribes from party members who were seeking the party`s nomination in the May elections and instead only depended on reports.”

According to Kim Man-su, the spokesman for the presidential office, President Roh said in the cabinet meeting on the day, “Election malpractice is the cause of a variety of irregularities and corruption. Among them, irregularities in the nomination process are the fundamental problem which breeds structural corruption.”

The president also added, “I cannot understand why the prosecution and police are only relying on reports in their investigation even after I ordered a thorough enforcement on the irregularities in the election endorsement process.” “It is the time to analyze and review systematically how appropriately the government has responded to election malpractices including the nomination malpractice,” said Roh.

In addition, President Roh said, “Find the reason behind the slow police investigation into the bribery scandal and report it to me,” and also mentioned, “The police will be held responsible for having failed to recognize the case.”

On this, GNP Chairwoman Park Geun-hye criticized the president, saying, “The remarks made by the president are dangerous and dreadful as they can lead to the repression of the opposition parties.”

During her visit to Daegu to attend a policy forum hosted by the GNP local autonomy committee, Park said, “The president’s comment is an attempt to intervene in the investigation. And he must not take any action which can be interpreted as unfair intervention.”

Lee Gye-jin, spokesman for the GNP, also pointed out, “The president’s call for a thorough investigation on the bribery scandal can only be seen as a move intended to influence the upcoming elections.” He added, “Such a move raises questions about his commitment to a fair election.”

Yeon-Wook Jung Yong-Gwan Jung jyw11@donga.com yongari@donga.com