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Election pledges not released due to the ferry disaster

Posted May. 06, 2014 05:01,   


Concerns are growing over uninformed elections. The local elections on June 4 are only 29 days away, but major political parties have not released their pledges yet.

The National Election Commission on Monday suddenly delayed its plan to announce 10 pledges of major political parties and five key pledges of each province and city on its website (party.nec.go.kr). It is because three out of four parties that receive government subsidies (except for the ruling Saenuri Party) – New Politics Alliance for Democracy, Justice Party, and United Progressive Party – did not submit their pledges. The commission said, “As three parties did submit either their key pledges or only some of the pledges, the commission decided to release them when the parties submit all of their pledges.”

The delay was made because the opposition parties decided to add safety measures regarding the accident of the ferry Sewol. “Our policy committee is fine-tuning pledges on safety for the people,” a source from New Politics Alliance for Democracy said, adding, “We passed the deadline as we are seriously reviewing the measures to reflect the increased interest in safety.” It seems to take more than a week to finalize the pledges. In other words, key pledges can be released on May 15 or 16 when the candidates are registered.

Aside from party pledges, candidates’ key pledges, which were to be released on Monday, are being postponed. Key candidates of both ruling and opposition parties are reluctant to register as a preliminary candidate. As incumbent lawmakers must resign if they register as a preliminary candidate, they seem to wait until their party races are completed.

Incumbent local government heads are also postponing their election campaign in the wake of the ferry disaster, which is a cause of the delayed submission of pledges.