Center outlines campaign pledges by the numbers

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Center outlines campaign pledges by the numbers

Among 16 metropolitan and provincial governments, the Daegu and Gwangju city governments and the South Chungcheong and North Gyeongsang provincial governments have most successfully followed through with their 2010 election campaign pledges, a study by the Korea Manifesto Center revealed.

The nonprofit civic group, which monitors the performances of elected officials, announced the results of its study Wednesday. The center gave the four local governments an A+ grade for realizing their campaign pledges, promised in the 2010 elections.

“The 45-member evaluation team, which was launched in February, assessed the implementation of 2,283 campaign promises [made in the 2010 local elections] by elected officials in 16 major city and provincial governments through examining open-source data on the Internet over a 12 day-period from Feb.10 to 21,” the civic group said in a statement Wednesday.

The group said the top four local governments excelled, exceeding the others by having the largest number of its election promises fulfilled. South Chungcheong, led by An Hee-jung of the New Politics Alliance for Democracy (NPAD), and North Gyeongsang, led by Kim Kwan-yong of the ruling Saenuri Party, were particularly recognized for having the most efficient communication channels with their constituents.

Seoul, Busan, Ulsan, Gangwon and North Chungcheong trailed the top four with A grades overall. The country’s capital city, led by Mayor Park Won-soon of the NPAD, was given an A+ for its effective and extensive communication with citizens, while it received an A in realizing its campaign pledges.

The Incheon, Daegu, Gyeonggi and Jeju governments were placed in a B-level group, while North Jeolla and South Jeolla received a C grade overall - the lowest.

South Gyeongsang was not graded in the study because its governor, Hong Joon-pyo, was elected to in a December 2012 by-election.

The institution also reported that, among the 16 major local government offices over the past four years, the average rate for campaign promises that have been completed or are in the process of being implemented stands at 76.8 percent, or 1,753 pledges - an 11.7 percent increase from the previous term from 2006 to 2010.

“Among the total 2,283 campaign promises, 563, or 24.66 percent, have been fulfilled, while 1,190 promises are currently being pursued,” the Korea Manifesto Center reported.

It added that it will take 470 trillion won ($441.1 billion) to carry out all the 2,283 pledges. That is 135 trillion won more than what it will cost to realize all the 307 presidential campaign promises made by Saenuri Party candidate Park Geun-hye during her election campaign.

The center pointed out that the one commonality in the study is that most of the unfulfilled campaign promises are related to proposed landmark construction projects, which it said were mainly made to appeal to voters.

“These unfulfilled pledges are the result of political candidates promising during the election that they could deliver on these projects even though it is beyond their capability to do so,” the center added.

BY KANG JIN-KYU [jkkang2@joongang.co.kr]

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