Park’s Money-For-Nomination Scandal Opens the Door for Ahn?
SEOUL, KOREA — A recent public poll shows tight two-way race for presidency between Former Chairwoman of Saenuri Party, Rep. Geun-hye Park with 43% and Cheol-soo Ahn, Seoul National University’s dean of the Graduate School of Convergence Science and Technology, running at 42%.
On August 6, Gallup Korea released its “Daily Political Index”. Two candidates stood identical at 42% during the last week of July, but the August 6 index came unbalanced with Park 43% and Ahn 42% with a 1% margin of error. And the research company admits that the latest survey barely responded to Saenuri Party’s Money-For-Nomination scandal which surfaced late last week; one of her party members allegedly traded money for a proportional representation nomination during the April general elections.
It is weighing hard on Rep. Geun-hye Park before the Saenuri Party’s presidential primary, putting her candidacy at risk. Park’s rivals within the party who returned for the primary election are aggressively demanding her more responsibility, considering her top position during the April 11 elections. They are likely to keep up pressure on Park by degrees.
The prosecutors began investigation after confirming the “exchanging hands” between officials and candidates last April. The Saenuri Party’s Rep. Park then was overseeing the elections. If speculation turns out to be true, it would deal a serious blow to her. With only 4 months remaining before the presidential election, people are much interested in the consequences the recent scandal would bring.
On the same day of the polls’ release, her rivals called for “Geun-hye Park’s responsibility” at the party’s Seoul Speeches held at the Olympic Gymnastics Arena, Songpa-gu, Seoul. They refuted Park’s remark “Stepping down from the nomination is not a proper demand,” from the previous day.
During her press conference, Park calmly requested the prosecutors to clear up the speculation. But misfortune begets misfortune; last year, the Saenuri Party was also involved in a “Money gift envelope” scandal during the national convention. The political community wants to wait and see, letting the investigators do their job, yet it also expects the worst : a recent embarrassment turning into a big political scandal. Some hastily foresee two main political parties will suffer as a result and an IT mogul will win the final election in December. The main opposition Democratic United Party is not off the hook regarding the scandal.
It opens the door for Mr. Cheol-soo Ahn. People blamed his link to V-Society: casting doubt over his viability for presidency during the onset of his candidacy. Now, the Saenuri Party’s scandal seemingly clouds the issue. In addition, “Two Gates”, a film that depicts a deadly accident at Yongsan district, is helping Mr. Ahn regain his support.
Through multiple interviews and his latest book, Ahnlab’s founder stressed the importance of changing how Korea’s largest corporates (chaebols) behave. However, supporters questioned his double standards when his efforts for petition in favor of SK Group chairman Tae-won Chey were revealed. The police arrested Chey for accounting fraud in 2003, the time he was leading the V-Society - V” from the word “Venture”. Ahn was a member of the social circle that at its core promotes the co-existence of conglomerates and start-up businesses.
Opened on June 23, “Two Gates” was highlighted for politicians’ presence led by then Seoul mayor, Won-soon Park; for a documentary movie, it has attracted over 60,000 people unexpectedly. The long term screening movie urges people to re-focus on the accident for truth.