UPP’s Lee is cleared of suspicion of election fraud

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UPP’s Lee is cleared of suspicion of election fraud

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Lee Jung-hee

A former progressive party leader was cleared yesterday of suspicions that she was involved in election fraud ahead of the legislative elections in April, according to prosecutors.

Three aides to Lee Jung-hee, the former co-chairwoman of the minor opposition Unified Progressive Party (UPP), allegedly rigged a crucial voter survey to help her win the single opposition candidacy for a parliamentary seat in Gwanak District, southern Seoul.

Lee was summoned on Friday for questioning over whether she had known about the alleged tampering and ordered the aides to manipulate the survey.

The Seoul Central District Prosecutors’ Office, which has been investigating the suspicions, concluded not to charge the former leader citing a lack of evidence.

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Ahead of the April’s elections, the main opposition Democratic United Party and UPP chose common candidates based on the results of telephone surveys asking voters which contenders they favored.

Lee eventually won the nomination for the Gwanak race, defeating her rival from the DUP, but dropped out after revelations about her aides’ involvement in manipulating the competition results. She also resigned from her leadership post in May, taking responsibility for other alleged instances of election fraud involving the party.

The lawyer-turned-politician has maintained her innocence in the alleged public survey rigging, saying her aides carried out the act without her knowledge.

According to a source, Lee plans to announce a presidential bid today. The UPP experienced a sharp fall in its ratings after allegations arose over irregularities in the selection of proportional candidate ahead of April’s parliamentary race.

Yonhap
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