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Prime Minister-designate Under Fire over Code of Conduct

Prime Minister-designate Under Fire over Code of Conduct

Posted August. 20, 2010 13:20,   


Prime Minister-designate Kim Tae-ho purchased a car for his wife in 2005 with public funds while serving as governor of South Gyeongsang Province. This violation of conduct by a government official is expected to damage his candidacy for prime minister.

The Dong-A Ilbo checked the 2005 budget execution records of the province Thursday with the help of Rep. Kang Ki-kap of the progressive Democratic Labor Party. South Gyeongsang is found to have bought in January that year the luxury sedan Hyundai Equus for 70 million won (59,650 U.S. dollars) and a Samsung SM7 for 26 million won (22,160 dollars).

The government employees’ union of the province and media blasted the purchase of the Equus as an official vehicle for the governor given the difficult economic condition of South Gyeongsang residents. Kim later sold the car after 10 days.

His wife, however, used the SM7 from January 2005 to June 30 this year when Kim stepped down as governor.

“I repeatedly checked that the SM7 was originally bought for the governor’s wife from the accounting manager of South Gyeongsang Province,“ Kang said. “In addition, an official of the province turned out to have driven the car in question.”

Busan Mayor Hur Nam-sik was warned by the Korea Independent Commission Against Corruption for violating the code of conduct for government officials in 2006. His wife was found to have used his official car for personal use.

A source close to Kim said, “Kim’s wife drove a Hyundai Sonata by herself while living with her children in Geochang. When there was an official event at the office, the administrative department of the province offered a car.”

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