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Some Local Government Officials Use Suspect Tactics to Win Over Voters

Feb 08,2001
While the next local elections are a year and a half away, many local government heads have already begun campaigning using their incumbent advantage - and a few dirty tricks.

Some have circulated leaflets outlining their accomplishments, while others have made early personal attacks on their presumed opponents. Several legislators have reportedly given large sums of money as gifts.

The Pusan office of the National Election Commission issued warnings Thursday to four district office heads for distributing leaflets that exaggerated their accomplishments.

The commission said it plans to issue similar warnings to four other local government heads in the vicinity.

The election law states that promotional material cannot be distributed more than once each quarter. The commission said the district heads who were admonished sent out materials last October, November and December.

A total of 13 local legislators in Pusan have also received warnings for giving extravagant gifts at weddings.

In Cheonan, South Chungcheong province, leaflets blaming local administrators and legislators for corruption and sexual misconduct have been circulated.

"A legislator received 1.5 million won ($800) in bribes and an official at an advocacy group received sexual favors," the leaflet read. The charges were later found to be false.

The Ulju county government in South Kyongsang province reportedly provided 9 million won to five local advocacy groups, while the city government of Pohang, North Kyongsang province gave 24 million won to a group of retired civil servants.

The election commission said it suspects the money was provided to buy votes.



by Choi Joon-ho




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