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Political Parties Continue Wrangling over Election Fairness

Mar 21,2000
The opposition parties have strongly criticized a state prosecution probe into draft dodging by the sons of dignitaries, which commenced March 20. All parties are currently working hard to woo voters in the upcoming parliamentary election, particularly in the crucial regions of Seoul, Pusan, and Chungchong province.

The opposition Grand National Party (GNP) has set up a Special Commission on the Draft Scheme, headed by Kim Jung-wi, and has decided not to comply with the prosecution summons for their sons until after the election. They said they would even demonstrate in front of the prosecution office if the prosecution enforces the summons.

Kim denounced the prosecution's move as "a bid to smear the opposition ahead of the poll" and added it was unfair to summon largely the sons of opposition party authorities. He urged the prosecution to postpone the investigation until after the election.

The opposition United Liberal Democrats (ULD) also demanded the halt of "investigations into a targeted group."

The ruling Millennium Democratic Party spokesman Chung Dong-young blamed the rival parties for the steps taken by the prosecution, saying, "The GNP reps, whose sons are suspected of draft dodging, are now demanding bulletproof privileges."

Meanwhile, at its election policy committee executive meeting, the MDP asked former president Kim Young-sam to stop interfering in politics and retire. "A president who ruined the nation along with GNP leader Lee Hoi-chang is not qualified to talk about state affairs."

The GNP election committee head, Soh Chong-won, demanded President Kim Dae-jung to maintain neutrality, citing his MDP counterpart Lee In-je and the president's meeting at Chong Wa Dae (Blue House) as proof that the "Chong Wa Dae is the center of unfair election practices, contaminated with money and political power."




by Lee Sang-il




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