중앙데일리

Government Officials Accused of Supporting Ruling Party

Mar 15,2000
The Grand National Party (GNP) is accusing government officials of supporting ruling party candidates. The United Liberal Democrats (ULD) just added their voice to the accusations.
On Tuesday, GNP campaign manager Soh Chong-won demanded the resignations of Minister Choi In-ki of Government Administration and Home Affairs, and Korean Information Service (KOIS) director Oh Hong-kun. Soh claimed that Choi's visits to certain cities and provinces, as well as internal notes distributed by the KOIS, are related to the election campaign.
Soh released a press report about provincial government officials' involvement in the 2000 General Election campaign. The report states that Kyonggi Province Governor Lim Chang-yol made a speech supporting candidate Cho Se-hyong on March 9, while Ulsan mayor Shim Wan-ku praised Millennium Democratic Party (MDP) candidate Lee Kyu-chong for his work in the mayor's office.
"We will take serious action against officials who support running candidates," stated Soh. The ULD increased their criticism against the ruling party last week when ULD leader Lee Han-dong noted, "Rather than attending to state affairs as he should be, President Kim Dae-jun is encouraging other provincial government officials to engage in ruling party members' campaigns."
Cho Pu-yong, the head of the ULD campaign office, said, "Chong Wa Dae (the Blue House) has invited between 100 and 200 people to a variety of events this year. These events were, of course, for the upcoming General Election." He added, "Illegal support of government officials can be blamed on President Kim."
In response, MDP general secretary Kim Yok-du insisted, "These accusations are nothing but conspiracy."
"There is no evidence of involvement by government officials in the election campaign, neither do any officials intend to become involved. However, some MDP candidates are being monitored by the police because of old connections with the GNP," said Kim.
An MDP spokesman said, "For provincial government officials, making an opening speech at an official event or party is not against election law."




by Lee Sang-il




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