Top fundraisers mostly Park loyalists

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Top fundraisers mostly Park loyalists

The National Election Commission yesterday released the fund-raising details of the 764 candidates who ran in the April 11 legislative elections.

While the announcement revealed the fund-raising records of the contenders who ran to represent electoral districts, candidates who didn’t establish fund-raising groups as well as proportional representation candidates were not included.

According to the report, the 764 candidates raised more than 54.9 billion won ($48.6 million) in total. On average, a candidate raised 71.8 million won.

The analysis into the records showed that 184 lawmakers who sought re-election in April raised about 2.7 times more money than the other 580 candidates.

Under the current law, a lawmaker seeking re-election is allowed to raise up to 300 million won in campaign funds, while a candidate without a seat in the National Assembly has a ceiling of 150 million won.

Of the lawmakers who sought re-election in April, then Representative Kim Boo-kyum of the Democratic United Party raised the most, recording more than 328 million won. He, however, was not re-elected.

While the DUP candidate raised the most money, the top 10 list was mostly dominated by the Saenuri Party. Of the nine lawmakers from the conservative ruling party on the list, many of them are known to be Park Geun-hye loyalists.

Representative Yoo Seong-min, a key Park aide, raised nearly 303 million won, ranked third after Representative Choung Byoung-gug. Representative Lee Ju-young, currently heading Park’s presidential campaign advisors, was ranked fourth at 301 million won.

Representative Choi Kyung-hwan, a senior Park campaign manager, was ranked seventh with more than 298 million won raised in election funds.

Representative Yoo Jeong-bok, Park’s former chief of staff and a senior member of her presidential campaign, was eighth with 295 million won.

Other lawmakers loyal to Park also raised large sums, but did not make the top 10 list.

The top 10 list of candidates who were not lawmakers was also dominated by Park loyalists. Kim Jae-won raised 164 million won, topping the list.

Sohn Su-jo, a political rookie and Park’s reform icon who ran against DUP’s Moon Jae-in in Busan’s Sasang District, raised 150 million won and ranked fifth.

While seven candidates in the top 10 were members of the Saenuri Party, the remaining three were DUP contenders.

While fund-raising details for Park, the Saenuri presidential front-runner, were not made available because she was elected as a proportional representative, other presidential candidates’ records were released yesterday.

Most of them raised funds that neared the ceiling limit.

In contrast, most of Moon’s campaign fund was made up of small donations. He had only four donors who contributed more than 3 million won each.



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

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