Archive for April, 2012
The group of leftist parties is now in a good position to win the parliamentary elections in South Korea on Wednesday with their platform about the free-trade deal with United States and improvement of social services.
A victory from the opposing Democratic United Party in the National Assembly elections is only what it takes to precede a possible defeat of the scandalized administration in the presidential elections set in December.
Critics of the springhill group are saying that the agreement would hurt domestic investment and agriculture. Those sentiments might have been instilled by the American International Trade Commission that estimated US exports to the country can grow to almost USD 11 billion during the initial year of the deal taking effect.
And among the left-leaning young voters, there are those with strong oppositions to what they see as the administration’s favor for bigger businesses, most notably the Chaebol industrial conglomerate.
Regional elections recently have revealed a rather strong backing coming from voters for the redistribution wealth via discounted school fees, free lunches at school and improved welfare payments.
South Korea’s major political force until the late 1980s, Grand National Party, of which the current president Lee Myung Bak is a member, have been attempting to divert the public’s attention to scandals surrounding Lee since he was elected in 2008.
However, it seems that even the changing of their party name to Saenuri (or the New Frontier Party) has not prevented the onslaught of scandals that have followed the administration of Lee since the beginning.
Their sorry state has gotten worse when another bad rap showed up last week after the announcement of national prosecutors regarding their investigation of illegal wiretapping of telephones used by 2,600 prominent figures — including labor movement members, politicians and media.
The scandal became known to the public when a previous officer placed in the office of the prime minister allegedly gave a memory stick to the Korean Broadcasting System with images of over 20,000 document pages.
Before starting his political career, Lee has managed the largest construction firm in South Korea. Then his coming into position has been marred by allegations of a medical scam and has since then followed him and his allies. Other government officials have tried to downplay the scandal by drawing attention to the fact that some of the documents pertain to surveillance prior to Lee’s party coming to power.
Recently, the National Assembly Speaker quit from his post due to suspicions of vote buying last February. In addition, the chairman of Lee’s party has resigned following a police identification of an official who’s allegedly involved in a virtual attack on the nation’s election agency. Current surveys are indicating a rather weak support for Lee’s administration with 27% ratings, which is only half of his previous ratings when he came to office.