What will voters remember ahead of the 20th presidential election on March 9? If you look at the article, you can see the recordings of Lee Jae-myung, the Democratic Party’s presidential candidate, “suspicious about preferential treatment for the Daejang-dong development project” and “swearing at his brother-in-law”. The so-called ‘head, wife, mother-in-law’ risk of candidate Yoon Seok-yeol for People’s Power is also a staple material covered by the media. Recently, there has been controversy over whether the two major parties will have a bilateral TV debate or a four-party debate, including candidate Ahn Cheol-soo of the People’s Party and Sim Sang-jung of the Justice Party.
Not much is known about the basic information needed by voters. For example, Rep. Seong Il-jong, the head of the People’s Strength TV Debate Working Group, said this while insisting on carrying out bilateral discussions on the 27th. “The four-party debate is merely an increase in the number of court debates as there are three court debates.” Since the four-party discussion is mandatory later, it means that we will start with the bilateral discussion. But what is the 3rd court debate, why is it 3 times, and why are there 4 participants? What if someone doesn’t join the four-party discussion?
The basic information of the presidential election is organized in a Q&A format.
As of January 28, 26 candidates for the 20th Presidential Election were registered with the National Election Commission. Among them, independent candidate Sohn Hak-gyu announced his resignation on the 27th, but it was not reflected on the website of the National Election Commission. The National Election Commission.
Q: There is also Heo Kyung-young, but on TV there are only Lee Jae-myung, Yoon Seok-yeol, Ahn Cheol-soo, Shim Sang-jung… . Who are the candidates for the 20th presidential election?
A : As of the 31st, there are a total of 26 candidates registered with the National Election Commission. Initially, 35 people were listed as preliminary candidates, but 9 people were removed from the list due to reasons such as resignation, death, and invalidation of registration. In the Democratic Party, candidates Chung Sye-kyun and Kim Doo-gwan resigned during the intra-party primary, while Lee Nak-yeon and Chu Mi-ae lost the primary. Won Hee-ryong, Yoo Seung-min, Choi Jae-hyeong, Hong Jun-pyo, and Hwang Kyo-ahn, the People’s Power candidates, also lost the primary.
If you look up the list of preliminary candidates on the website of the National Election Commission, you can find the names of candidates Lee Jae-myung, Yoon Seok-yeol, Shim Sang-jung, and Ahn Cheol-su. Independent candidate Sohn Hak-gyu, who represented the Democratic Party, and Kim Dong-yeon, who served as deputy prime minister and Minister of Strategy and Finance under the Moon Jae-in administration, are also familiar names. The Republican Party candidate Cho Won-jin of the ‘pro-Park’ and the National Revolutionary Party candidate Huh Kyung-young, also called ‘Bon-jwa Heo’, also stand out. Others Oh Seung-cheol People’s Power, Kang Seong-hyeon People’s Party, Oh Jun-ho Basic Income Party, Ko Young-il National Revolutionary Party, Kim Jae-yeon Progressive Party, Kim Min-chan Hallyu Union Party, Hwang Jang-su Revolution 21, Kim Ki-cheon, Choi Dae-jip, Yang Seong-ki, Lee Won-sik, Kim Seong-gwang, Kim Yu-chan, Kim Gyeong-jae, Lee Kun-gae, Lee Jae-won · Independent candidates Daehan Kim and Baekyun Lee are listed as preliminary candidates. Candidate Sohn Hak-gyu announced his intention to resign on the 27th. With this, a total of 25 candidates for the presidential election have been made, but they have not yet been reflected on the website of the National Election Commission.
Not all prospective candidates become formal presidential candidates. Conversely, a person who has not registered as a preliminary candidate may register as a formal candidate prior to the election. According to the Public Official Election Act, the National Election Commission received applications for preliminary candidate registration from July 12, last year, ‘240 days before the election’. The application can be made until February 12, and after that, you must register as an official candidate for two days from February 13 to 14 in order to be eligible for an official election campaign.
The preliminary candidate registration system was introduced in March 2004 with the revision of the Election Act. The purpose of the introduction was to ensure that candidates such as political newcomers, independents, and small parties have an opportunity to promote themselves. Since the revision was during the tenure of the late President Roh Moo-hyun (2003~2007), it was first implemented only in the 17th presidential election held on December 19, 2007.
Q: When I read the article titles of Ahn Cheol-soo candidate for the People’s Party, ‘15% of the devil’, ‘15% wall’… . What the hell is 15%?
A: Above all, it is a meaningful number because of ‘money’. According to the current election law, if a presidential candidate is elected or receives 15% or more of the total number of valid votes, the entire election cost can be compensated. If more than 10% but less than 15% of the votes are cast, half of the election cost is covered. Election expenses refer to the campaign expenses of political parties and candidates that are incurred from the time of registration of preliminary candidates.
The cost of an election by a candidate and his political party is literally ‘billion’ sounds. The cost limit for the 20th presidential election announced by the National Election Commission in June last year is 51.39 billion won. This is an increase of 315 million won compared to the 50.99 billion won spent in the 19th presidential election. The total number of people of over 51 million multiplied by 950 won was determined by increasing or decreasing the ‘Election Cost Restriction Calculation Ratio’ taking into account the change in the national consumer price index.
The maximum amount of election funds that one candidate can cover through fundraising is 5.1 billion won. This is because the supporters for presidential candidates, including the supporters for preliminary candidates, and supporters for primary candidates within the party can each raise a donation of 2.565.45 million won, which is 5% of the limited amount of election expenses. Candidates who go through the intra-party primary will be able to receive a donation of 2.565.45 million won each in the intra-party primary and presidential candidates stages.
It’s not a small number, but it’s far below 50 billion won. Most of the tens of billions of won in election subsidies paid by the National Election Commission prior to the election are shared by the parties that formed the bargaining group. For this reason, small parties and candidates are always in trouble for money. Even for campaign vehicles that appear as regulars in street campaigns, the price difference ranges from several million won to 30 million won depending on the size (1-5) and options such as the installation of large light emitting diodes (LED). Election bulletin distribution costs hundreds of millions of dollars per episode, while TV and online advertisements cost up to billions of dollars. A political official jokingly said, “Small candidates will be worried about how many car rentals to rent right now.
The cost of the recent rhetoric between People’s Power Representative Lee Jun-seok and the election of candidate Ahn was the subject of the story. On the 29th, CEO Lee appeared on MBC Radio’s ‘Politicians’ and said, “Most parties sign contracts for online advertisements this week. It will vary depending on the size, but it goes up to 6 billion won.” He argued, “The party that signed the contract now has the will to complete it, and the party that did not sign the contract has a low chance of completing it.” He added, “It is a united state, and it is a waste of money even if a candidate disappears or does not receive 15% of the vote.
Hong Kyung-hee, spokesperson for Ahn’s side, said in a commentary on the same day, “We signed an online advertisement contract,” and there is no unification. Candidate Ahn Cheol-soo has completed the presidential election.”
Party members of the People’s Party and supporters of presidential candidate Ahn Cheol-soo shout slogans at the ‘Conference against unfair TV debates between vested interests’ held in front of the main office of the National Assembly on the 20th. Parliamentary photojournalists
Q: Adoption or 4 children, that is the question… . Why do political parties in the presidential election fight ahead of the TV debate?
A : This is because we are going to conduct additional discussions in addition to the discussion forums stipulated by the current law. Court debates are held in accordance with the current Public Official Election Act, and in the case of the presidential election, they are held at least three times during the official election campaign period, presided over by the National Election Debate Broadcasting Committee. In this presidential election, where the election campaign begins on the 15th of next month, three court debates are scheduled for February 21, February 26, and March 2. The bilateral TV debate, in which the Democratic Party and the People’s Power discussed the event, is separate from the court debate.
The reason for the promotion of the bilateral TV debate can be seen in the words of Rep. Seong Il-jong, the head of the People’s Power TV debate working-level negotiation group. “What the people want to see and hear the most is the various policy minds of the first and second party candidates, their attitude to serve the people, and what kind of explanations and problems there are in the areas of various suspicions.” The People’s Power side explains that they will seize the opportunity to push Lee candidate down, including the allegation of Daejang-dong. Rep. Seong believed that if the four-party debate was held first, the possibility of the bilateral discussion being virtually canceled is high. There was also an interpretation that it was trying to create a clear two-way structure by excluding candidate Ahn, who is an opposition rival, from the debate. The Democratic Party did not show any particular objection to the bilateral TV debate itself. The conflict between the two parties was mainly over ‘when’ the discussion would take place.
However, the agreement between the two parties was overshadowed by opposition from the Justice Party and the People’s Party. Justice Party candidate Shim Sang-jung applied for an injunction to ban broadcasting on TV debates of both parties, saying, “There is a risk of being deprived of the opportunity to participate in the debate, presenting various policies, and verifying the opposing candidate’s policies.” Considering the number of seats and the position as a member of the party, it is an abuse of discretion to exclude candidate Shim while claiming autonomy (the three broadcasting companies) even though the conditions are conducive to participating in the broadcast debate.” Candidate Ahn also applied for an injunction to ban broadcasting in the bilateral TV debate.
On the 26th, the court cited candidates Shim and Ahn’s applications. In fact, the path to quantum TV debate is blocked. At this time, the basis for citing the application for injunction by the court is Article 82, Paragraph 1, Paragraph 1 of Article 82 of the Public Official Election Act. According to this article, ① candidates from a political party with 5 or more members in the National Assembly, ② candidates from a party who received 3% or more of the total number of valid votes in the previous proportional representative National Assembly election, ③ election by a media organization from 30 days before the start of the election period Candidates with an average approval rating of 5% or higher in the results of the public opinion poll conducted by the start date of the period are eligible for the invitation to the court debate. Candidate Ahn and Shim’s argument is that they fall under this clause and should not be excluded according to the agreement between the major opposition parties and terrestrial broadcasters.
Even after the court’s decision was made, for a while, the Democratic Party and the People’s Power did not discard the proposal to hold a bilateral discussion on the 31st. Then, in the end, on the day the discussion was scheduled to be held, it became a ‘non-existent thing’. During the bilateral discussion, the two parties, who were arguing over whether to discuss an unlimited number of topics or by field, stopped in front of the issue of ‘whether to bring discussion room materials’. After conflicts with “Candidate Yoon can’t debate without a single answer sheet?” (Democratic Party Senior Spokesperson Koh Yong-jin) and “Is there any precedent for candidate debate without data?” (Rep. Seong), the candidates will be selected in a courtroom broadcast live on the 3rd by three terrestrial broadcasters at 8 pm. In a TV debate, I was confronted with Shim and Ahn.
By the way, what if something happens, such as someone not attending the 4-party TV debate to be held on the 3rd? According to the Public Official Election Act, there is a provision that ‘a fine of not more than 10 million won’ is imposed if you do not attend the legal candidate debate. However, the amount of the fine for negligence may be reduced or increased within 1/2 of the standard amount ‘considering the motive of the violation, the result, the effect on the election, the duration of the violation and the degree of violation’.
On December 26, last year, on KBS ‘Sunday Diagnosis Live’, Lee said, “(Candidate Yoon) may not be able to come out after paying a fine. He once said, “You don’t even have to pay 5 million won for a court debate,” but it is interpreted as borrowing the above clause (at that time, the Democratic Party referred to candidate Yoon as if he were reluctant to debate).
Q: During the Lunar New Year holidays, you say, “Adults talk about politics, but the kids go”?
A : ‘Kids’ also have reasons to talk about politics. Apart from the educational level, it is legally possible to participate in politics. Anyone over the age of 18 as of March 9, Election Day, is eligible to vote. Even people born on March 10, 2004 are eligible to vote. The law was amended in 2019 and from the 21st National Assembly election (April 15, 2020), the voting age has been lowered from 19 years old or older to 18 years old or older. This is the first presidential election since the lowering of the voting age.
Youth can also join political parties. It was possible to join a political party from the age of 18 before that, but on the 11th, the amendment to the Party Act to lower the age of party membership to 16 was passed by the National Assembly plenary session. High school students were also allowed to engage in political party activities.
High school seniors who have passed their birthday can run for parliament or local council. This is because, at the plenary meeting on December 31 last year, the amendment bill to the Public Official Election Act was decided to lower the age limit for election in general and local elections to 18. This provision will be applied from the re/by-election of the National Assembly members to be held along with the presidential election on March 9 of this year.
Don’t forget that even teenagers can vote and run for office if they are 18 years of age or older after their birthday!