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Fake Primary Voter Dispute Hits UNDP

Posted August. 31, 2007 08:01,   


The United New Democratic Party was harshly criticized from inside and outside of the party as the suspicion of the alleged proxy registration in the process of recruiting the primary’s electoral college was found to be true on Thursday.

Although Rhee Mok-hee, chairman of the open primary executive committee, held a press conference to curb growing criticism, he has failed to contain it. Some politicians point out that primary candidates will not accept the outcome of the party nomination race due to such flaws.

Among the people who were registered as members of the electoral college without their knowledge, many people did not respond to the complete enumerations of the Auto Calling System (ACS). Every one of the registered members was asked by phone whether they assented to the registration. The telephone message went as follows: “Please press one if you did not register (the college) or hang up if you participated in the registration.” Therefore, everyone who did not respond to the phone call was automatically included in the electoral college. This illustrates the UNDP’s desperate attempt to secure as many voters as possible in the casting ballots.

It is also doubtful whether the UNDP conducted a complete enumeration twice as the party claims. “We finished the complete enumerations on Wednesday,” Lee said. However, a Dong-A Ilbo reporter, whose name was on the voters’ list without his consent, received only one survey phone call as of Thursday.

Even the UNDP lawmakers are criticizing the fact that the party included 158,309 people who did not answer phone calls in the telephone surveys as part of the electoral college. “What is the use of having a large electoral college? If the voter turnout is low, it will deal a more severe blow to the party,” a UNDP official said.

During the phone surveys, more than 60,000 of the registered numbers were found to be invalid. This figure is also hard to accept from a common-sense point of view. When asked about the case of the Dong-A Ilbo reporter, the UNDP answered, “Although the telephone number was correct, the name and the resident registration number were registered under a different person.” However, a reporter of the Internet based newspaper “Freezone News,” said that not only his telephone number, but also his name and resident registration number were correctly listed on the primary voters’ list.

With regard to the two incidents, Lee said, “The Fair Election Sub-committee will investigate the cases and if any illegal activities are discovered, we will file a criminal complaint.”

Meanwhile, the Grand National Party and the Democratic Party criticized the UNDP’s proxy registration in chorus.

“The retro-Uri Party’s recruitment process of the primary electoral college smelled rotten from the beginning,” said GNP spokeswoman Na Gyeong-won. “They should have been at least a little wiser in mobilizing people. They were so careless that they even mobilized the party correspondents. Which candidate do you think will accept the result of an election, whose electoral college is made up of mobilized persons or ghosts. None of the people will acknowledge such a result,” said Kim Jae-doo, a vice spokesman of the DP.

An internal dispute has broken out in the party as well. Former Prime Minister Han Myeong-sook, an aspirating presidential candidate of the UNDP, called for a new complete enumeration.

“We must get rid of all the suspicions by carrying out another complete enumeration in a rational way in that everyone can accept the results. If we insist on the existing system, the significance of the open primary will likely be damaged by the bogus voter dispute,” Kim Hyeong-joo, a spokesman of Han’s camp said.