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Who’s to be condemned in the elections?

Rival parties all out to sway voter sentiment during Seollal holidays


Rival parties intensified their political offensives Thursday while greeting voters at major railway stations ahead of the Lunar New Year holidays.

Ruling Democratic Party of Korea Chairman Lee Hae-chan and Floor Leader Lee In-young visited Yongsan Station in Seoul to hand out promotional brochures to citizens heading back to their hometowns for the holidays.

Joining them was former Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon, who accepted the party chief’s proposal to take the position of co-head of the party’s election preparation panel while standing as the party’s standard bearer in one of the key battlefields for the general elections -- the Jongno District.

“It is my honor to take great responsibility for the April 15 general election, which will become another watershed moment in history,” he told reporters at the station.

Democratic Party chief Lee believes the vote will be a “judgment” on the conservative opposition, which paralyzed the parliament by filibustering major bills and hindering the government’s reform efforts.

“Parliamentary elections normally serve as an evaluation of the incumbent administration but a public survey showed that the opposition party should be punished,” Lee said in an interview with TBS radio.

The Liberty Korea Party leader Hwang Kyo-ahn couldn’t disagree more with Lee’s perception of things.

Hwang touts the voters will deliver their verdict on the Moon Jae-in administration for its total failure in state management.

Accompanied by Floor Leader Shim Jae-chul, the conservative leader also met voters at Seoul Station, vowing to improve the livelihood of people.

Hwang criticized the government’s economic performance on the heels of the release of data showing that the country’s gross domestic product expanded 2 percent in 2019, marking the slowest pace in a decade.

“The Moon administration’s economic policies are a total failure. All sectors including income, growth, distribution and employment are knocked out,” he said during the party’s Supreme Council meeting at the National Assembly on Thursday.

Hwang said he would discuss matters relating to public welfare such as real estate, jobs and self-employed people if Cheong Wa Dae accepted his proposal to arrange a one-on-one meeting with the president.

Cho Jung-sik, chief of the policy committee of the Democratic Party, said the country defended the psychological Maginot Line with 2 percent growth despite challenging external economic conditions such as the US-China trade war and the spread of protectionism.

By Park Han-na (