Candidates make last-minute push

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Candidates make last-minute push

On the last day before the local elections, candidates for Seoul’s top educator position ran around the capital for a final shot at making their campaign platforms heard.

Leading candidate Lee Won-hee brought in support from sports and entertainment stars in order to attract votes, while the sole liberal candidate, Kwak No-hyun, held a press conference arguing that the National Election Commission purposely failed to send out his campaign press release in a biased attempt to rule out the liberal side.

At around 1 in the afternoon yesterday, Lee Won-hee, former head of the Korean Federation of Teachers’ Association, was near the Seongbuk subway station in Nowon, Seoul, on a blue election van. Next to him was another Lee Won-hee, the judo gold medalist at the 2004 Athens Olympics.

“Just like Lee Won-hee won the Olympics in a single victory, I will win the fight for education reform in one victory,” said the candidate, holding hands with the medalist.

A few minutes later, actress Choi Ran, 50, held the mike. “There are so many Seoul education superintendent candidates. However, [the future of] Seoul education lies in No. 1” - Lee Won-hee’s campaign number.

As Lee sought help from a little star power yesterday, Kwak, his main rival, was busy talking to reporters in front of Seoul’s City Hall.

“The National Election Commission sent out candidate press releases without my press release,” he shouted out to passersby. “Join me in fighting a fraudulent election.”

Kwak said that around 4,000 of his press releases addressed to residents in Seoul’s Gwanak District had not been sent. Through a press release, the election commission said that it had not heard from the Gwanak District office that any candidate press release was lacking and that it is looking into what happened.

According to Kwak, however, officials in charge of sending out press releases in the area told him that they were missing his releases, but the National Election Commission ordered them to send the other candidates’ releases anyway.

Nam Seung-hee, another of the seven Seoul education superintendent candidates, took to the streets yesterday dressed in a Red Devils outfit to support Korea in the upcoming FIFA World Cup.

Kim Young-sook, another female candidate, dressed in a school uniform and campaigned in Seoul with some of her former students at the Duksung Girls’ Middle School.


By Park Su-ryon, Cho Jae-eun [jainnie@joongang.co.kr]

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