Friday, August 09, 2002
In by-elections held yesterday the Grand National Party (GNP) soundly thrashed the ruling Millenium Democratic Party (MDP) by winning 11 of the 13 seats and further increasing their majority in the National Assembly. The GNP holds the balance of power with 139 of the 273 seats in the National Assembly.
This news, on the back of last weeks rejection of the proposed first female Prime Minister and crushing defeat in elections held last month is a depressing news in the lead up to Presidential elections due in December. It is seeming more likely that the MDP will dissolve soon to allow for the emergence of a new party in an attempt to shake loose the bad reputation it has earned from having two of three of the President's sons indicted on corruption charges.
Presidential hopeful for the GNP, Lee Hoi-Chang is facing some controversy over alleged corruption in getting his son out of having to serve compulsory military service. Rumours have circled that part of the reason to choose the now rejected Chang Sang was to bring to the fore the disucssion of Lee's son's evasion. Chang Sang's own son had taken American citizenship presumably to avoid military service as well. While Chang Sang was rejected it now appears that the debate on Lee's own son has become open to renewed political debate which has the potential to severly damage his presidential campaign.
And in the scurry to be president the dark horse Chung Myong Joon's popularity continues to exceed that of his potential rivals.
The race is heating up and if the events so far are anything to go by we can expect a few more twists and turns to come up in the road between now and December.