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Gov't pledges stern measures for election law violations

All News 11:43 March 04, 2016

SEOUL, March 4 (Yonhap) -- The government said Friday that it will supervise the April 13 general elections in a fair and impartial manner, vowing to take stern measures against three major election-related offenses.

The three are giving bribes, using unauthorized methods to sway votes, and spreading lies about rivals, officials said.

Presiding over a meeting with the ministers concerned, Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn vowed "to take stern measures against all illegal activities" so that clean and fair elections can be conducted.

The government drew up guidelines for conducting an investigation and warned it will detain people accused of giving or taking kickbacks in exchange for election favors.

The number of election-related offenders has increased in the lead-up to the April 13 ballot compared to the previous general election four years ago.

According to data by the Ministry of Justice, a total of 434 people have been booked on charges related to irregular election campaign activities this year, up 29.6 percent from 2012.

Also, the government said it will step up the supervision of public servants to prevent them from taking sides.

Under the country's election law, government officials, policymakers, and elected officials are forbidden from supporting or opposing particular candidates or parties and from leaking information beneficial to particular candidates.

Hwang also instructed officials to prepare for the election swiftly since the bipartisan deal that redrew the country's electoral districts was passed only recently.

After wrangling over the issue for months, the National Assembly passed the deal on remapping electoral constituencies late Wednesday.

The delay in redrawing the electoral map has already dealt a blow to the parties' candidate registry and election campaigns.


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