National
By-election candidates stress personal touch
Published : Apr 17, 2011 - 19:20
Updated : Apr 17, 2011 - 19:56
Candidates for the April 27 by-elections emphasized their personal qualities over the first weekend since the official campaign kicked off last Thursday.

Though candidates have been holding public campaigns during weekday commuting hours, all seized the weekend as a chance to attract the full attention of the voters.

In the Bundang-B constituency, the former head of the ruling Grand National Party Kang Jae-sup and the leader of the main opposition Democratic Party Sohn Hak-kyu went on their rounds.
Democratic Party candidate Sohn Hak-kyu dances during a campaign rally in Bundang on Sunday. (Park Hyun-koo/The Korea Herald)
Kang Jae-sup, ruling Grand National Party candidate for the April 27 by-election, appeals for voter support in the Bundang constituency, Seongnam, Sunday.

The former GNP leader stressed the “human” aspect of his leadership, by delivering free lunch boxes and playing badminton with citizens.

“Not only has he shown his abilities as former ruling party leader, but, as a 15-year resident of the area, is also a friendly neighbor to the people of Bundang,” said an official of Kang’s camp.

His opponent Sohn depicted himself as a gentle, father-like figure who would represent the people’s hopes for change.

He also visited hiking trails, parks and discount stores, trying to get in touch with the middle class citizens which constitute a majority of the Bundang population.

“It is Sohn’s goal to make a country in which the middle class people are happy to live,” said the DP spokesperson Sunday over Sohn’s campaigns.

In the Gimhae-B constituency in South Gyeongsang Province, candidates made their tours to win the hearts of the more than 20,000 voters there.

Kim Tae-ho of the GNP emphasized his past experience as South Gyeongsang governor and claimed he was ready to bring the necessary changes to the Gimhae region.

On the other hand, Lee Bong-soo of the minority People’s Participation Party, also the sole opposition candidate in the area, emphasized being a genuine Gimhae native.

“No other candidate knows Gimhae and its people better than Lee,” said an official of his camp.

“This city underwent problems such as reckless development and a true insider is needed to step in and solve such issues.”

The floor leaders and other senior lawmakers also appeared here and there to give support to their party candidates.

DP floor leader Park Jie-won joined Choi Moon-soon, the party’s candidate for the Gangwon governor seat and GNP floor leader Kim Moo-sung visited Gimhae over the weekend to participate in the election campaigns for Kim Tae-ho.

“The weekends, during which candidates may fully show themselves to the public, are a golden chance to raise our chances to win in the by-election,” said a DP official.

By Bae Hyun-jung (tellme@heraldcorp.com)
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