Grand National Party ‘money-envelope’ controversy

Disclaimer: The following is a totally personal unauthoritative translation and summary of so-called ‘money-envelope’ controversy that rattles the whole Korean politics from the start of this year. Since it is a still evolving controversy, it would not make any sense to translate single article in conveying the whole picture of the incident. Rather, I chose to collect a series of articles under the same theme. Most articles in this post are excerpts from <The Kyunghyang Shinmun> and two of them are from <The Seoul Shinmun>. All rights regarding this post stay with authors of articles excerpted in this post or with <The Kyunghyang Shinmun> or with <The Seoul Shinmun> and this post will be scrapped immediately at their requests. In the post, I paid much effort to make translations of names of persons or institutions / job positions as authentic as possible but some of them, inevitably, may not match their authentic English translations. Original news articles of each item in this post (in Korean) can be located by the corresponding links.

The whole controversy broke out of a party representative’s press interview.

  • On Jan. 4, Grand National Party (GNP) Representative Go Seung-deok first exposed the delivery of 3M KRW from one of the party leader candidates’ camps in one of the past party conventions in a press interview. … “Once, I got an envelope with 3M KRW in it from one of the party leader candidates before a party convention during the current 18th National Assembly. I returned it back right away. Eventually, he was elected. That candidate and the one who delivered the money were all pro-Lee Myung-bak faction, but, after the party convention, they were too cold to me who had actually supported him.” Although he did not mention any real names, he mentioned “former party leaders Park Hee-tae, Ahn Sang-soo, Hong Jun-pyo are all pro-Lee faction, right?” and added “but, it was not what happened at the Jul. 4th party convention, last year (where former party leader Hong was elected).” 고승덕 “전당대회 후보가 300만원 돈봉투 전달” 폭로 
  • The same day, GNP emergency measures committee (EMC) which is presided by Rep. Park Geun-hye requested the prosecution to investigate the ‘party convention money envelope’ scandal. 한나라, ‘전대 돈봉투’ 파문 … 비대위, 검찰에 수사 의뢰
  • However, reports on chronic money spraying practice in GNP convention followed suit. “모 후보는 **억 썼다더라” … 세 번의 전대 돈선거 논란
  • Another GNP Rep. exposed that the irregularity in GNP convention was not limited to money spray. They also treated meals to collect votes as well. 조전혁 “돈봉투 뿐 아니라 ‘밥잔치’도 벌어졌다”

Since GNP had only a limited number of leaders during the 18th National Assembly period, the one Rep. Go had mentioned in his interview was narrowed to the current Chairperson of National Assembly Park Hee-tae eventually.

Then, the Chairperson Park, the central figure of the whole ‘money-envelope’ controversy, left Korea for official business abroad.

However, the ‘money-envelope’ controversy seemed like developing into a power struggle.

The public sentiment was clearly frosty against the GNP ‘money-envelope’ controversy.

The prosecution’s investigation, however, evolved into the pro-Lee Myung-bak faction’s disadvantaged direction.

Finally, the Chairperson Park returned from his trip abroad. But, denying any knowledge of ‘vote-buying’ scheme for himself, he declined to step down from the Chairperson of National Assembly, causing a widespread public anger.

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