79 lawmakers-elect face probe
By Yi Whan-woo
Seventy-nine lawmakers-elect, including two belonging to the ruling Saenuri Party, are under investigation over alleged illegal campaigning in Wednesday’s parliamentary elections, the Supreme Prosecutors’ Office said Thursday.
The prosecution indicted one of the lawmakers-elect on charges of illegal election campaigning. It is also looking at 1,096 other violations of the Election Law by non-candidates.
In the elections the Saenuri Party won 152 of the 300 parliamentary seats up for grabs, compared to the 127 gained by the main opposition Democratic United Party (DUP).
The two Saenuri members are Lee Jae-kyun of the Yeongdo district in Busan and Kim Geun-tae of the Buyeo-Cheongyang constituency, South Chungcheong Province.
The two could lose their seats if they are given a prison term or fine of more than 1 million won if they are found guilty of breaking the Election Law.
The National Elections Commission (NEC) reported Kim to the Daejeon District Prosecutors’ Office for offering meals and handing out his biography to voters as part of his campaign. Such activities are prohibited.
The prosecution in Busan also raided Lee’s office Wednesday to find evidence of alleged illegal activities. He is suspected of giving presents worth 3 million won to 20 Yeongdo residents, and also giving 5 million won to his supporters in the campaign.
“We’ll analyze confiscated documents and other evidence to confirm the allegations,” an investigator said.
Among the 1,096 violators, 334 are under probe for their alleged implication in vote-buying while 353 are suspected of slandering candidates.
“We mostly received complaints from the districts that saw a neck-and-neck race between the rival candidates, and anticipate there will be more lawmakers-elect who will be investigated,” a prosecutor said.