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Election Watchdog Probing Seoul Superintendent Race

Posted April. 13, 2010 03:35,   


The Seoul Election Commission yesterday began an investigation on the ruling party’s alleged attempt to support a former middle school principal in the Seoul school superintendent election June 2.

A commission official said Monday, “After reading a Dong-A Ilbo report, the commission is looking into whether a certain political party is involved in the school superintendent election.”

Kim Yeong-suk, former Duksung Girls’ Middle School principal, is running for city school superintendent. She is allegedly backed by the Seoul chapter of the ruling Grand National Party. On Kim’s statement that “she was strongly recommended by the ruling party to enter the race” in a news release, the official said, “We are also looking into whether what she said is illegal, and nothing is certain for the time being.”

According to guidelines banning a political party in the election of a school superintendent released last month by the National Election Commission, a party cannot form a policy partnership with a superintendent candidate or express any form of solidarity. A candidate with a party affiliation for the June 2 local elections cannot express support for a particular superintendent candidate and commit an act considered to be showing support. In turn, anyone running for school superintendent cannot openly back a certain party, either.

The national commission said that even if the name of the party in question is not specified, its involvement can considered a violation of the guidelines as long as the name is predictable.