Go to contents

Election Watchdog Busts Corrupt Candidate

Posted March. 26, 2008 03:03,   


The first day of candidate registration for the April 9 general elections yesterday saw a handful of candidates from both the conservative Grand National Party and the liberal United Democratic Party engage in disgraceful conduct.

The National Election Commission said former lawmaker Kim Taek-ki, a GNP nominee, gave a large sum of money to a close aide. The election watchdog disqualified Kim from the elections and reported him and his aide to police on charges of violating election law.

Commission officials videotaped Kim giving a bag of money to his confidante in Jeongseon. After following him for five kilometers, he pulled his car over. Officials found 41 million won and a list of voters in his vehicle.

Many GNP lawmakers had opposed Kim’s candidacy because of his conviction for offering bribes to politicians in 1993, when he was president of Hankook Automobile Insurance.

The GNP replaced him with Choi Dong-kyu, former head of the Small and Medium Business Administration.

In the liberal camp, a group of UDP candidates who had a low chance of earning proportional representative seats announced their withdrawal from the race.

Kim Geuk-sik, a professor at Kyungnam University, resigned when the list of proportional candidates was announced, as did former spokesman of the now-defunct Uri Party Seo Young-kyo.

Also announcing their intentions to drop out were Kim Jong-hyun, former co-chairman of the Civil Society Organizations Network in Korea; Ko Yeon-ho, vice chairwoman of the Korean Women Entrepreneurs Association; Kim Hyun, vice spokesman of the UDP; and Jeong Heung-jin, former Jongno ward chief.

A number of candidates are considering withdrawing in protest of the liberal party’s nomination results. Some of them have even disappeared, shunning contact with people.

jkmas@donga.com koh@donga.com