[EDITORIALS]Strengthen election supervisionAs the by-elections this Saturday are just around the corner, allegations of corrupt campaign practices are surfacing. The National Election Commission has reported a leader of a local residents association to the prosecution for distributing envelopes with cash to voters. It is alleged that he offered 200,000 won ($199) each to four voters in the Seongnam/Jungwon electoral district, and three of them have reported the money to the election commission in exchange for a 5 million won reward. Although the person who offered money was not a campaigner, those who reported him told the commission that he was campaigning for a Uri Party candidate.
On the other hand, in the Asan electoral district in South Chungcheong province, the election commission requested the local prosecutors office to investigate two campaigners who are suspected of offering food and transportation money to voters they attracted to a campaign rally for a Grand National Party candidate.
Although the amount of money involved and the number of people who received money is not as high as it was in previous elections, it is difficult to say that the election atmosphere is clean and fair.
As the elections are held as a result of the court’s ruling to nullify the previous ones on charges of election law violations, they should be held in a more discreet manner than any other elections. Nevertheless, they are tainted with corruption and unfairness. We think that the central parties are more responsible than individual candidates.
People worried even before the start of the campaign over the heated competition between the Uri Party that aims to restore its majority of seats and the Grand National Party that is trying to gain ground. Nevertheless, both parties have failed to show sincere efforts to lead a clean campaign, instead staging an all-out election campaign that mobilized the whole capability of the party. Even a Uri Party document that said it would support projects desired by voters has been disclosed by the Grand National Party, raising controversy over the local government’s involvement in the elections.
We hope both the governing and opposition parties change their attitudes and show efforts to hold a clean election. The election commission, prosecution and the police should strengthen supervision as the people pay keen attention to the elections.
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