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Eyes on nomination of former police whistle-blower

Posted July. 12, 2014 03:02,   


Her nomination as a New Politics Alliance for Democracy candidate for Gwangju Gwangsan-B constituency has put Kwon Eun-hee, former chief detective in the Suseo Police Precinct, back to the spotlight. In April last year when she was praised as “daughter of Gwangju,” she asked to call her “daughter of police.” She is a whistle-blower who claimed that then Seoul police chief Kim Yong-pan suppressed the investigation into the National Intelligence Service’s alleged attempt to manipulate public opinion on the web during the 2012 presidential election. The former police officer, who strongly denied the possibility of running up for by-election even at the end of last month, has finally jumped to the politics as expected by many.

It is still unclear whether her whistle blowing is true or not. For Kim’s charges of hampering the police investigation, the Seoul Central District Court ruled in favor of him in the first and second trials, citing “a lack of evidence and conflicts with objective facts (in Kwon’s allegation).” Kwon is not free from the criticism that she shook the public’s trust and disciplines in the public offices based on unfounded doubts, which led to political strife and controversy over the opposition party’s denial of presidential election result. The New Politics Alliance for Democracy is hardly seen as a political party that respects the judiciary, since the party nominated Kwon knowing she is under such criticism. If Kwon wants to reveal the truth, she needs to wait for the verdicts from the Supreme Court, rather than running up for election before the verdict is delivered.

If she runs for constituencies in the Seoul Metropolitan areas such as Dongjak B in Seoul, her comment that she wants to receive “judgment by the public” may sound convincing. However, her running up seems a chase for political compensations since it is highly likely for the opposition party nominee to win in Gwangju. This nomination may bring about big aftermath by making other public officials who are discontent with the public offices believe that they can receive political prizes by just one whistle blowing. Even conscientious whistle blowers’ acts to expose corruption could be suspected as “a step to join the politics.”

The New Politics Alliance for Democracy’s nomination earns criticism even from the inside of the party. Candidate Ki Dong-min, who was a reserved candidate for Gwangsan B constituency, has been nominated for Dongjak B in Seoul. The party excluded former Justice Minister Chun Jeong-bae from the nomination process, which is now blamed as under-the-table works to make Kwon a member of National Assembly. Kwon said “she “saw hope from Ahn Cheol-soo,” and NPAD Co-Chairman Ahn said “her steps in life shows sincerity itself.” It seems hard to deny Kwon’s nomination is interpreted as Ahn’s "having my own people around me."