PSPD in English Civil-Political 2000-07-31   1716

The Civil Action for the 2000 General Election in Korea

The Civil Action for the 2000 General Election in Korea

A new experiment for political reform by civil organizations has opened the new millenium in Korea. This is the creation of the Civil Action for the 2000 General Election in Korea (CAGE). The CAGE was created with the participation of 412 civil organisations. However, it drew to its successful conclusion with 981 organisations. During the campaign it published its newsletters in English five times, which we publish in this issue for information’s sake. Please find various aspects of this campaign in the newsletters. The diary of the CAGE’s campaigns are as follows:


12, Jan, 2000 The Civil Action for the 2000 General Election in Korea established.

24, Jan, 2000 The first release of the list of politicians who should not be eligible to run for the office of MP. (Against selection of candidates who are listed.)

30, Jan 19, Feb. The first and second mass rallies in the major cities at the same time. Against the selection of the listed politicians as candidates by parties.

Jan~ Feb Successive street campaigns for amendment of the Election Law, which prohibited civil intervention in election campaign.

Feb~ Mar Campaigning to press political parties to withdraw candidates on the list. Sue major political parties for selecting candidates by inappropriate procedures.

1, Mar. 2000 Declaration of the Will of Voters for Political Reform.

2, Mar~ 6, Mar. Voters Open Forum for Political Reform in Myungdong Cathedral.

20, Mar 26, Mar Bus Tour to major cities throughout the country to collect voters support.

Mar~ Apr A Signature Seeking Campaign (336,226 voters joined).

23, Mar. Announcement of criteria for proportional candidates.

3, Apr Release of the list of politicians whom the CAGE decided to make fail in the election.

8, Apr Red Card 2000 Festival, for young voters.

3, Apr 12 Apr Attentive Campaign in each electorate ward.

12, Apr Performance for Hope in Myungdong Cathedral (Street March with candle light).

13, Apr Election Day

The Civil Action for the 2000 General Election in Korea

The first quarter of this year witnessed a new experiment organized by civic groups in Korea. They actively participated in the election campaign and their activities for political reform turned out to be very successful. Below are the news letters published to publicize the activities of the CAGE.

On behalf of the Civil Action for the 2000 General Election in Korea (the CAGE), I am writing you to inform you about the organization, and to ask for the support of your organization. The CAGE was created by 412 civic organizations, including leading civil organizations such as the Peoples Solidarity for Participatory Democracy, Women Link, the Federation of Environmental Movements, and so on, on Jan 12, 2000, in Seoul, in order to organize civil actions for the coming general election in April. As soon as it was established, citizens throughout the country extended their strong support. According to a survey, around 90% of Koreans responded that they would support its activities.

A general social and economic reform has been in progress in Korea, though slowly, a lot of it as advocated by the activities of civil organizations. However, no symptom of reform in politics has been witnessed at all. Parliament has been, as Koreans often say cynically, in a state of coma. The representatives are blocking the general trend of reform in our society. Politics has come to be of the representatives, by the representatives, and for the representatives, rather than for the people. Therefore, the 412 civil organizations manifested that politics could only be reformed by civil power. This, we are confident, represents the general opinion of citizens, as is explicit in the result of all the political surveys.

Next week the CAGE will distributes the names of politicians who are not qualified to stand in the coming general election. The list is being made based on the results of parliamentary monitoring done by a lot of civil organizations. However, all campaigns by civil organizations connected with elections are prohibited by the Election Law in Korea. Nonetheless, the Korean people, as well as the CAGE, are very confident that politics can only be reformed at this time by civil disobedience. According to many surveys, around 90% of Koreans support this civil disobedience.

We would like to ask you to keep an eye on this civil disobedience, and to support it. Could you reply to this e-mail if you have an interest in this activity, and are going to support us when you are asked. If so, we will e-mail you again next week with detailed information concerning this civil disobedience organized by the CAGE. We would like to have your response within this week.

We are looking forward to your immediate reply.

Thank you very much.

in Solidarity,


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