Left, Lee Sung-nam, financer / Right, Ex-Minister Song Min-soon
By Kim Sue-young
The major parties unveiled the lineups of their proportional representation candidates, Monday. On its list, the governing Grand National Party (GNP) placed activists, civic group leaders and labor unionists, who have more chance of becoming lawmakers, in an effort to attract working-class voters.
The main opposition United Democratic Party (UDP), meanwhile, sought to give an economy-savvy image by selecting female financier Lee Sung-nam as its No. 1 proportional representation candidate. Lee served as a member of the Bank of Korea's Monetary Policy Committee.
Former Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Song Min-soon ranked fourth in the liberal party's list of 54 candidates to be elected under the proportional representation system.
Of the total 299 lawmakers, 54 will be picked under the proportional representation system in the April 9 National Assembly elections. The remaining 245 legislators will be elected through direct voting.
``We recruited experts and notable figures. But I feel sorry that we could not invite so many great people because of the limited number of seats,'' UNP Co-Chairman Sohn Hak-kyu told reporters.
Political parties usually present their visions and policies through the selection of their No. 1 proportional representation candidate.
Chief Director Park Eun-soo of the Korea Employment Promotion Agency for the Disabled was chosen as the No. 2 candidate.
Other candidates include Choi Moon-soon, the former CEO of the Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation; former Minister of Agriculture and Forestry Park Hong-soo; and Professor Kim Geun-sik of the University of North Korean Studies in Seoul.
On election day, voters cast two ballots ― one for the candidate running in their district and the other for the party that they support.
Parties will be given proportional representation seats according to the numbers of votes they receive.
Candidates to run in 245 districts nationwide can register their candidacy with the National Election Commission for two days from today. Official campaigning starts Thursday.
Activist Kang Myung-soon, who is known as the ``godmother of the poor,'' topped the GNP's list of 50 proportional representation candidates.
Now-defunct presidential transition team Chairwoman Lee Kyung-sook was tapped into the post previously, but she withdrew her candidacy Sunday. She serves as president of Sookmyung Women's University in Seoul.
GNP Spokeswoman Cho Yoon-seon said that Lee expressed her willingness to stay in the university, instead of becoming a lawmaker.
Spokeswoman Cho was placed 13th, which is still considered a safe bet to become a lawmaker.
Former Defense Minister Kim Jang-soo was listed sixth.
The conservative party expects those who are listed up to the 25th place will be selected as legislators as polls showed support for the party is over 40 percent.