Na says Park ‘hiding’ from scrutiny

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Na says Park ‘hiding’ from scrutiny

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Former Representative Na Kyung-won, the Grand National nominee for Seoul mayor, assailed her opponent, Park Won-soon, yesterday for turning down additional televised debates and accused him of “hiding” from public scrutiny.

At a press conference yesterday morning, Na, who has gained momentum in the race for City Hall, pressured Park to agree to more debates, offering to accept any rules and methods of Park’s choosing.

“Civic groups have said candidates who refuse to participate in a television debate are unfit to win an election,” Na said, in an apparent reference to Park’s 2000 initiative to blacklist legislative candidates, one of his most well-known projects as a civic activist. “If Park refuses to accept my proposal, I have to conclude that he is refusing to let the public evaluate him.”

The two rivals have faced each other in three televised debates so far, but Na claimed that Park had turned down seven more opportunities.

Representative Hong Joon-pyo, chairman of the GNP, also criticized the liberal nominee.

“He has never held public office, so there has never been a chance to evaluate him,” Hong said. “If he wants to become a mayor in charge of 10 million Seoulites’ lives, he must submit to the public’s evaluation.”

Park’s campaign turned down Na’s demand yesterday. “Na claimed that Park has deprived the people’s right to know by refusing to attend debates,” Woo Sang-ho, spokesman for Park’s campaign, said. “That’s such an irresponsible political attack that fails to grasp even a bit of truth.”

Hong rejected the characterization, saying that “calling our attempt a smear campaign is not an appropriate attitude for a candidate.”

Woo said that Park has attended four debates, including three televised ones, and will do his best to attend debates scheduled to be hosted by the National Election Commission and the Korea Broadcasting Journalists Club.

Park’s campaign returned fire, a move that appeared to signal a growing sense of alarm in Park’s camp as it watches his once-solid lead all but evaporate in the latest polls.

Attacking President Lee Myung-bak and Na, Park deviated from his usual refrainment from using strong language. “This election is to retaliate for the failure of Lee Myung-bak and Oh Se-hoon,” Park said yesterday.

Park, who led Na by as much as 15 percentage points at the start of her campaign, now leads by 1 percentage point, according to a JoongAng Ilbo-Gallup Korea poll conducted over the weekend.

In a recent poll by Embrain, Park lost his front-runner status, with Park leading Na 47.6 percent to 44.5 percent after leading the GNP nominee 50.6 percent to 34.7 percent in late September.

Representative Sohn Hak-kyu, chairman of the DP, urged his caucus yesterday to jump into the fray. “At first, I worried that it would not help Park if Democrats were too aggressive, but now we have no luxury of sitting back,” Sohn said.


By Ser Myo-ja [myoja@joongang.co.kr]


한글 관련 기사 [중앙일보]

나경원 “박원순, TV토론 7번 거부 … 검증 기피자” 우상호 ”나 후보 건물 13억원 시세 차익은 투기”

위기의 박 캠프, 강공 돌아서

무소속 박원순 후보 캠프에 위기감이 감돌고 있다. 한나라당 나경원 후보 측의 검증 공세에 효과적 대응을 하지 못함에 따라 판세가 초박빙으로 바뀌었기 때문이다. 박 후보 캠프는 18일 이명박 대통령의 내곡동 사저와 나 후보의 신상문제를 거론하며 역공을 가했다. “정책으로 한판 붙자”는 기조를 바꾼 것이다.

 캠프의 우상호 대변인은 이날 “이 대통령이 취임하자마자 부자 세금을 깎아주더니 마지막엔 국민 세금으로 사저를 마련했다”며 “제정신 가진 사람이 할 짓이냐”고 말했다. 나 후보에 대해선 “6년 만에 13억의 시세차익을 올린 신당동 건물에 대해 ‘부동산 투기가 아니다’고 했는데 그럼 얼마를 더 벌어야 투기냐”고 물었다. 박 후보도 “이번 선거는 이명박·오세훈의 실패를 ‘응징’하기 위한 것”이라며 보다 공격적인 태도를 취했다.

 박 후보 측이 이렇게 달라진 건 “선거 초반 반MB(이 대통령)·반한나라당 전선을 구축하지 못해 주도권을 내줬다”고 판단하기 때문이다. 한 핵심 관계자는 “박 후보에 대한 한나라당의 네거티브로 ‘MB 심판론’이 선거 이슈로 자리 잡지 못했다”며 “이젠 무조건 강공”이라고 말했다.

 민주당에도 비상이 걸렸다. 손학규 대표는 이날 의원총회에서 “처음엔 민주당이 너무 나서면 선거에 도움이 될 수 있을까 걱정했는데 이젠 체면을 따지기 어렵게 됐다”며 “사무총장(정장선 의원)이 (지지층 결집을 위한) 대처 방안을 강구해 달라”고 주문했다.

그런 가운데 한나라당은 박 후보를 ‘토론 기피자’로 몰며 공세를 취했다. 나경원 후보는 기자회견을 열고 “후보 검증과 관련해 ‘끝장토론’을 제안한다”며 “어떤 매체, 어떤 방법이든 박 후보가 정하는 대로 따르겠다”고 말했다. 그러면서 “(추가로 예정돼 있던) 일곱 번의 TV 토론회를 박 후보가 무산시켰다. 이는 시민의 알 권리를 짓밟는 것이다”라고 지적했다. 이에 대해 박 후보 캠프의 송호창 대변인은 “말이 좋아 끝장토론이지 남은 선거운동 기간 동안 토론만 하자는 것이냐”며 “현장에서 서민을 만나는 게 두려워 TV 화면 속으로 숨으려는 꼼수”라고 반박했다.

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