Due to this change in the election process, members of the parties are now more fervently engaged in promoting their party. The Election Administration Committee is keeping a close eye on the movements of the parties, offline as well as online, as competition is expected to intensify with the approaching elections date.
The recently reformed law on elections targeted the excessive money lobbying and the organized election campaigns.
After registering as preliminary candidates on March 12, candidates were allowed to set up campaign offices, distribute business cards, and send out electronic mail. However, the previously established district party chapters were banned, in an attempt to put the presently serving candidates and their challengers on a more level field for the elections. Joint public speeches among parties were outlawed due to the parties scheme to mobilize throngs in support of their parties.
In addition, Candidates and party members are still prohibited from sending instant messages over the cellular phones for campaign-related reasons until April 2.
Punishment of violations of election laws is reinforced. A reporter of illegal campaign practices is rewarded with up to 50 million won. Furthermore, along with candidates eligible voters are also penalized for receiving any money or other valuables, as well as for being treated to a meal.
There has been criticism over the late amendment of the election laws, but the reform of the election campaigns is still under way. Candidates beware. Election paparazzi are undercover.
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