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The `Park Geun-hye Effect` on the Oct. 28 By-elections

Posted October. 21, 2009 08:52,   


“After bolting the party, certain candidates (in the Oct. 28 by-elections) have mentioned the enormous political assets of the ruling Grand National Party on their business cards and deceived voters.”

Huh Tae-yeol, a confidant of former Grand National Party Chairwoman Park Geun-hye, said this yesterday to a meeting of the party’s supreme council meeting in Jincheon, North Chungcheong Province.

He was referring to independent Kim Kyung-hoi, who is running for the seat covering Jeungpyeong, Jincheon, Goisan and Eumseong.

After failing to get the party’s nomination for the by-elections, Kim bolted to run as an independent while claiming to be close to Park. Kim, however, was considered close to Lee Myung-bak in 2007 around the time of the presidential election.

Song Young-tae, the head of the ruling party’s chapter in North Chungcheong Province, said, “Even if Kim says he’s close to Park, we can do nothing to stop him. But his behavior violates political ethics.”

Concluding that Kim is taking votes away from the ruling party candidate in the region, the North Chungcheong chapter asked party headquarters to dispatch prominent pro-Park figures, such as Song Gwang-ho and Huh, to the province to debunk Kim’s claims.

Yu Jae-myung, an independent running in Yangsan, South Gyeongsang Province, is also using Park’s popularity in his campaign, displaying her face on his placards and brochures.

Yu saw a good showing at the 18th general elections when he ran as a pro-Park independent, but failed to win the ruling party’s nomination this time. In response, pro-Park lawmakers including Kim Mu-sung, who support the ruling party’s candidate Park Hee-tae in Yangsan, said, “Park Hee-tae is a pro-Park candidate.”

A ruling party official said, “(Park Geun-hye’s) influence is not as strong as it was in last year’s general elections, but the so-called Park Geun-hye effect has effectively been proven in this year’s by-elections.”