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Frm. Pres. Roh’s Regional Dev`t Policy Receives Failing Mark

Frm. Pres. Roh’s Regional Dev`t Policy Receives Failing Mark

Posted April. 02, 2008 06:23,   


More than half of local government heads flunked former President Roh Moo-hyun’s drive for so-called “balanced national development” policy. 53.7 percent of those surveyed said their locality received no contribution from his policy, while 26.6 percent said they did.

The findings were published in a recent survey by the Dong-A Ilbo and the Korea Research Institute for Local Administration to commemorate the Dong-A Ilbo’s 88th anniversary. Out of a total 230 localities (Jeju Province excluded), government heads from 214 localities participated.

The survey found that 77 percent of local governments in the Seoul metropolitan area did not acknowledge any positive effects from Roh’s policy. Regarding the new administration’s policy for a “creative metropolitan development” plan, 33.3 percent of respondents stressed the need for more active cooperation among localities to iron out conflicts of interest between them. 21.1 percent pointed out the need to organize a body to coordinate varying views.

To induce balanced nationwide development, local administrators pointed out the need to develop local potentials and enhance competitiveness (39.4%), to encourage strategic industries, tailored by region (28.2%) and to entice corporate investment (20.7%).

A vast majority of them (78%) advocated the abolishment of the party nomination system in local elections. In particular, 100 percent of officials with three or more terms in office opposed the system more than officials in their first or second terms (68.1% and 91.8%, respectively).

40.2 percent of them said that the central government’s help was meager, while 8.9 percent said it was miniscule.

Similarly, 8.5 percent of localities in the seven major metropolitan regions were satisfied with the central government’s support, while 63.3 percent were not. Among rural governments, however, 31.5 percent showed some satisfaction but 28.7 percent expressed dissatisfaction.

70.1 percent of those surveyed gave positive marks (or more than 70 points) to the level of grass-roots democracy in Korea. Only 4.2 percent of them, however, replied that their local government could survive financially without any help from the central government.

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