Partisan Bickering & Smear Tactics Intensify

Mar 16,2000

The upcoming April 13 general elections are being marred by escalating partisan bickering and smear tactics. The main opposition, the Grand National Party (GNP) and the ruling Millennium Democratic Party (MDP) continued to harshly denounce each other throughout Tuesday, accusing each other of using corrupt campaign tactics and mudslinging.
The GNP claimed that the MDP is encouraging illegal election practices, and disclosed a report it compiled on the examples of corrupt campaign practices employed by the ruling party, including suspicions of bribery of candidates of other parties. The 60 examples cited include 48 cases of alleged illegal campaign practices by government ministers and MDP's party candidates running in the upcoming parliamentary elections. Suh Chung-won, a key GNP campaign strategist, convened a press conference and announced his party's plan to bring charges against the Government Administration and Home Affairs minister Choi In-kee, and Government Information Agency (GIA) chief Oh Hong-keun, claiming that the GNP had evidence of their meddling in the present election campaigns.
The second opposition party and the MDP's former coalition partner, the United Liberal Democrats (ULD), concurred that the GIA has been distributing information flyers touting Kim Dae-jung government's achievements, whose cover carries a picture of a marathon runner wearing a No. 2 badge (the number to choose on election balllots for the MDP).
The MDP was quick to strike back by asking, "The ministers are just doing their job. Should they give up their duties and go on vacation instead?" The MDP also charged that the head of the Kangnam Ward Office had arranged for Choi Byong-ryol and Oh Hong-keun (both running in Kangnam districts) to meet with prominent district residents. The ruling party also delivered emergency orders to each of its district chapters to keep strict vigilance against propaganda and smear tactics.
The controversy over inter-Korean collusion is equally bitter. Chong Wa Dae, the MDP, and the Unification Ministry all denounced GNP president Lee Hoi-chang for saying that North Korean officials had asked the Unification Minister whether the Berlin Declaration by President Kim was a campaign tactic. The Unification Minister had met with North Koreans to deliver a copy of President Kim's speech prior to his Berlin Declaration. The MDP stated that Lee is not qualified to charge the government for any suspected collusion with North Korea. The Unification Ministry also officially demanded Lee Hoi-chang to stop spreading distorted facts.
Member of congress, Paek Nam-chi, who joined the ULD upon failing to make the list of GNP nominees, said at a district rally, "Yoon Yoe-joon, so favored by the GNP head, is not a graduate of Kyonggi High School (an exclusive Seoul high school with famous and powerful alumni). The documents submitted to Chong Wa Dae shows his having graduated from South Chungchong Kwangchon Commercial High School instead," and urged Lee to pull out of the elections for falsifying documents and his personal history. The MDP also claimed former GNP spokesman Lee Sa-chol was responsible for manipulating a spy scandal by influencing the prosecution of former senior police officer, Lee Kun-an, infamous for implementing torture, and called for Lee Sa-chol’s withdrawal from the upcoming elections.

여야 진흙탕 공방 가열

4·13총선이 점차 1여3야의 진흙탕 싸움으로 빠져들고 있다.각 정당의 “네탓”공방도 치열해지고 있다.한나라당과 민주당 등은 15일 부정선거 시비,국부유출론,북풍(北風)등을 쟁점으로 한치 양보없는 폭로전과 설전을 계속했다.    
 ◇관권·역관권선거 시비=한나라당은 3월15일에 맞춰 “지금의 민주당은 3·15부정선거를 획책하고 있다”(張光根대변인)며 타당 후보의 금품제공 의혹 등을 담은 ‘부정선거 주요사례집)을 꺼내놓았다.60건중 민주당 공천자·단체장들과 현직 장관의 불·탈법 사례가 48건.서청원(徐淸源)선대본부장은 기자간담회를 자청,“최인기(崔仁基)행자부장관과 오홍근(吳弘根)국정홍보처장의 관권선거 증거를 갖고 있다”며 검찰 고발 방침을 밝혔다.
 자민련도 “국정홍보처가 발행한 홍보책자에 2번(민주당 기호)을 단 마라톤선수가 그려져 있다”며 가세했다.
 민주당은 “장관들의 통상업무를 포기하고 휴가라도 가란 말이냐”(李仁濟선대위원장)며 “오히려 강남구청장이 강남갑·을의 최병렬·오세훈위원장과 지역유지의 면담을 주선했다”(鄭東泳대변인)고 역(逆)관권시비를 제기.민주당은 전 지구당에 “흑색선전 감시를 철처히 하라”는 비상경계령도 내렸다. 
 ◇신(新)북풍 공방=청와대·민주당·통일부등 정부여당은 “통일부장관이 베를린선언전 북한사람을 만났을 때 ‘총선용으로 쓰려는 것아니냐’고 한 말을 들었다”고 언급한 이회창(李會昌)한나라당총재를 겨냥해 반격에 나섰다.“북풍에 대해 말할 자격도 없는 李총재”“누가 누구에게 떠넘기나”(민주당)“바람스럽지 못한 일”(청와대)이라는 반박에 이어 통일부는 15일 李총재측에 “왜곡된 사실을 중단하라”고 공식항의도 했다. 한나라당은 이정빈 외무장관의 15일 북한 테러 관련 발언을 “테러를 공인해주는 발상”이라고 비난.   
 ◇전력 시비=한나라당 공천에서 탈락,자민련으로 간 서울노원갑 백남치(白南治)의원은 15일 지구당개편대회에서 “한나라당 李총재가 가장 총애하는 공천전횡의 주역 윤여준(尹汝雋)씨는 경기고 54회출신이 아니다.청와대 제출서류엔 충남광천상고를 졸업한 것으로 돼있다”며 “공문서위조범과 한통속이 된 李총재는 정계를 떠나라”고 독설을 펼쳤다.민주당도 “이사철 전한나라당 대변인은 이근안을 동원해 간첩사건을 조작했던 당사자”라고 주장하며 후보사퇴를 촉구했다.

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