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Prosecutors raid Ulsan gov't office amid election-meddling scandal

All Headlines 11:50 January 04, 2020

SEOUL, Jan. 4 (Yonhap) -- Prosecutors raided the Ulsan government office on Saturday amid rising allegations that the city's vice mayor colluded with the presidential office to help the president's close friend in the 2018 mayoral election.

The raid of Ulsan Metropolitan City Hall, some 400 kilometers southeast of the capital city, came amid suspicions that Song Byung-gi, Ulsan's vice mayor for economic affairs, conspired with several presidential aides to influence the city's mayoral poll last year.

Prosecutors also suspect that the presidential office and the ruling Democratic Party intervened in establishing campaign pledges for the incumbent mayor.

The vice mayor is suspected of tipping off the presidential office to bribery allegations involving ex-Ulsan Mayor Kim Gi-hyeon's confidants, which led to investigations ahead of the 2018 election.

Kim, who was seeking reelection as mayor in June 2018 as a candidate of the main opposition Liberty Korea Party, lost the race to current mayor Song Cheol-ho of the ruling Democratic Party, a longtime friend of President Moon Jae-in.

Kim claimed publicly that the Ulsan Metropolitan Police Agency deliberately raided his office a few months ahead of the election, with Cheong Wa Dae behind the move.

Prosecutors raid Ulsan gov't office amid election-meddling scandal - 1

colin@yna.co.kr
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