With by-elections looming, DP files GNP complaint

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With by-elections looming, DP files GNP complaint

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Officials and volunteers from Seoul’s Jung District Election Commission yesterday in Seoul Plaza urge people to vote in tomorrow’s by-election. At 24 election districts nationwide, voting takes place from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. By Cho Mun-gyu


In a last-minute maneuver to better its chances against the ruling Grand National Party in tomorrow’s by-elections, the Democratic Party officially filed a complaint asking prosecutors to launch a probe into GNP Gangwon gubernatorial candidate Ohm Ki-young on charges of violating election laws by hiring people to make phone calls in a Gangneung vacation rental and urging Gangwon residents to vote for him in tomorrow’s by-elections.

In a complaint submitted to the Chuncheon District Prosecutors’ Office at 11 a.m. yesterday, the DP said Ohm violated election laws because the vacation rental used for promoting Ohm was not registered as a campaign office with the National Election Commission.

Gangneung police raided the rental on Friday and arrested 31 people in connection with the operation.

The raid was carried out after police received a tip from the DP that the callers allegedly received free meals and 50,000 won ($45) per day. DP said providing meals and cash also violates an election law.

“[Ohm] claims he’s not involved in this matter, but an organization that he headed was involved systematically,” read the DP’s complaint filed with the prosecution. “Without [Ohm’s] involvement, it would’ve been impossible that over 100 million won was used for operating an illegal [campaign] office.”

In a related matter, a local court issued a warrant allowing police to arrest a man surnamed Choi on charges of initiating the illegal call center plan.

According to police, Choi previously worked with the 2018 Olympic & Paralympic Winter Games Bid Community Public Support Association, which was headed by Ohm until March.

Police said Choi worked as Ohm’s special adviser in the association and he was a former aide of a GNP lawmaker.

“After examining the educational material provided to hired callers, they were instructed to call a cell phone number if they received any complaint calls,” said an investigator at Gangneung Police. “We confirmed it was Choi’s phone number.”

The GNP is fighting back. It also filed a complaint asking Chuncheon prosecutors to investigate Ohm’s rival, DP Gangwon gubernatorial candidate Choi Moon-soon, on charges of spreading false information. It filed it just 30 minutes after the DP filed its complaint.

In the complaint submitted to the prosecutors, the GNP argued that Choi sent text messages to Gangwon residents with false information on April 18, saying that broadcaster SBS reported on April 15 that Choi was just 1 percent behind Ohm, and wrote, “It’s a close match.”

“SBS news didn’t report such a poll and recent polls showed Ohm is 10 to 20 percent ahead of Choi and that is not a close match,” read GNP’s complaint.

A Choi campaign official said the text message was not fact-checked when it was sent after a campaign official saw an Internet item saying that SBS reported such news on April 15.

Tomorrow’s by-elections will fill three vacancies in the legislature. Gangwon will elect its new governor.


By Kim Mi-ju [mijukim@joongang.co.kr]

한글 관련 기사 [연합]
민주당, 엄기영 후보 공직선거법 위반 고발

민주당은 25일 한나라당 엄기영 강원지사 후보를 공직선거법 위반 혐의로 춘천지검에 고발했다.

민주당은 이날 안봉진 변호사를 통해 제출한 고발장에서 "피고발인(엄 후보)이 작년 12월10일 만든 '평창동계올림픽유치지원 민간단체협의회'는 선거운동을 위해 조직된 단체로 보이며 최근 구성원들이 선거운동을 해온 정황이 다수 발견되고 있다"면서 "이는 단체의 선거운동을 금지한 공직선거법 제87조 6항 위반에 해당된다"고 밝혔다.

또 "피고발인이 강릉 경포대 인근의 펜션을 얻어 전화홍보 등을 하도록 한 것은 유사기관 설치를 금지한 공직선거법 제89조를 위반한 것"이라며 "피고발인은 자신과 관련이 없다고 강변하지만 피고발인이 회장으로 있었던 단체가 조직적으로 동원됐으며 불법 사무소를 운영하는데 1억원이 넘는 비용이 들어간 것은 피고발인의 관련없이 이뤄지기 불가능하다"고 지적했다.

이와 함께 "불법 선거운동원들에게 일당과 식사를 제공하면서 전화를 이용한 선거운동을 하게 한 것은 서신.전보 등에 의한 선거운동 금지를 규정한 공직선거법 제109조를 위반한 것"이라며 "불법 사무소에서 사람을 고용해 일비를 지급하고 식사를 제공한 것은 기부행위 제한 등을 명시한 공직선거법 제114조 등을 위반했다"고 덧붙였다.


아울러 "펜션을 임차해 전화홍보를 한 것은 공직선거법에서 금지한 사전선거운동에 해당된다"며 엄벌을 요구했다.

한편, 강릉경찰서는 불법 선거운동사무소를 설치해 일당과 식사를 제공하고 선거운동을 한 혐의(공직선거법위반)로 김모(37)씨와 권모(39)씨 등 2명에 대해 지난 24일 구속영장을 신청했다.

경찰에 따르면 김씨 등은 엄 후보를 위해 강릉 모 펜션에 불법 선거운동사무소를 설치한 뒤 전화홍보원 30명을 5개조로 조직, 휴대전화 등으로 선거구민에게 선거운동을 하게 한 혐의를 받고 있다.

이에 맞서 한나라당도 최문순 후보 측이 허위사실을 명시한 휴대전화 문자메시지를 불특정 다수 22만명에게 발송한 것 등에 대해 최 후보를 검찰에 고발하는 것을 적극적으로 검토중인 것으로 알려졌다.

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