People Power 2017
This month at PSPD
Greetings to members. The Presidential Election on 9 May is just around the corner. Some people call it ‘Rose Presidential Election’ but majority name it ‘Candle Presidential Election’. As the word ‘Candle’ shows, it is an accomplishment of candle rallies taking place in the course of candle revolution so that it has to reflect spirits of candle citizens.
With the mind of carrying on civil candle revolution, PSPD has actively moved to respond to the presidential election, anti-THAAD and urge to eradicate deep-rooted evils last April.
‘2017 Action of Presidential Election Sovereign’, establishes and carries out various campaigns.
Civil, Social and Labour organisations which have worked for democracy, human rights, environment, ecology and livelihood of the people have established ‘2017 Action of Presidential Election Sovereign’ on 4 April. The Action focuses on four agenda; △ Campaign to collect wishes of the people and make suggestions △ Campaign to assess presidential election promises of major candidates △ Watch election process if government unfairly intervenes and/or malpractice takes place △ Secure citizens’ right to vote (voting and political expressions).
Lastly, I would like to draw your attention to ‘2017 Presidential Election Audition’ that citizens can review important policies of candidates and cast a vote for or against.
“Listen to the voices of candles”, 22nd and 23rd People’s Action took place
Candle revolution has to continue because impeaching a president does not automatically make a nation and a society brand new. Thus, Action for resignation (Emergency People Action for resignation of Park Geun-hye government) keeps carrying out general candle movement whenever a critical issue comes out. The people are demanding to judge powers monopolized the national administration and remove deep-rooted evils. On the other hands, they raise their voices for reforming Chaebeols, realizing democracy in economy, respecting labour and reviving people’s livelihood to resolve severe polarization, hardship and unfairness. Furthermore, people worry about tension of confrontation and clash in Korean peninsula. Hence, the 22nd and 23rd People Action held on 15 and 29 April appealed that any confrontation and armed clash should not break out. The Action for resignation and candle citizens will put all efforts to make upcoming presidential election as candle election, livelihood election, and that brings the peace and creates a good nation.
PSPD, Window for Public and Woori Research released 2nd public opinion poll
PSPD, non-profit public research network ‘Window for Public’ and Woori Research surveyed 1,003 people on 12 April to get public opinions. First of all, 56.5% more than majority respond that THAAD deployment process must stop and a decision whether to proceed needs to be made by next administration while 38.5% support that it can be proceed under acting president Hwang Kyo-an administration. Regarding to approval of the National Assembly, 62.2% say necessary and 33.2% not necessary. In respect to current National Election Law, 27.2% respond ‘no problem’ while people argue for reform because of restrictions on the right to expression reach 52.8%. 79.6% agree to establishment of an investigation bureau for corruptions of high ranking officials and 57.1% support direct election for directors of regional prosecutors.
In addition, responses on social and economic policies are as follow. △ 66.2% agree to increase minimum hourly wage to 10,000 won △ 59% support to increase basic elderly pension △ 76.1% support for ‘Illness allowance’ which provides set amount to workers who are not able to work because of illness besides industrial accident △ 80% say to increase corporate tax for Chabeol and large conglomerates △ 81% favor to legislate special act to protect business categories for small and medium business △ 65.6% agree to adopt strict regulation for shopping mall complex run by Chabeols. The results of this survey correspond to candle opinions that determined and effective social and economic policies are required to resolve severe polarization, inequality and hardship of our society. All political parties and presidential candidates have to listen to these voices and reflect them in promises and policies.
Request to inspect Ministry of Foreign Affairs and KOICA for intervening in Korea Aid and concealing it
PSPD has requested an Inspection for Public Interest to the Board of Audit and Inspection in respect to the case that Foreign Ministry and KOICA have concealed intervention of Blue House and Mir foundation of Choi Sun-sil in Korea Aid, ODA project in Africa. Even though their unlawful involvement was found at the National Assembly inspection last year, the Ministry hasn’t clearly explained but rather ordered KOICA, an affiliated organisation to omit documents.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and KOICA have committed dereliction of their duty and misfeasance by aiding and abetting Park Geun-hye and Choi Sun-shil in abusing ODA for their personal interests. Therefore, they need to be investigated followed by punishment and adopt remedial measures to prevent reoccurrence. The Board of Audit and Inspection has to inspect if systematic order or impose of higher authority or deliberate ignorance forced the ministry to make an unfair order and KOICA to obey it. Specifically, concerned persons to be investigated include not only a ministry officer who sent an email to KOICA employee, director of development cooperation division, vice minister and minister of the foreign ministry but also board of director of KOICA and president of Korea Aid project. The inspection has to find any dereliction of duty and misfeasance of the concerned party and ask them to take a responsibility followed by proper punishments for their illegal and unjust acts.
Active movement for ‘No THAAD’
Deploying THAAD is being pushed forward for US army residing in Korea to use even at this moment. While a new government formed after the presidential election is expected to take different policy from Park Geun-hye administration, the US has stealthily brought THAAD equipment into Korea without a notice. That is why people criticize by calling it holdout or sneaky THAAD. At present, Seongju and Kimcheon residents, Won Buddhism monks and national peace and civil organisations are devotedly moving to stop THAAD in Seongju of Gyeongbuk province. The Civil Peace Forum and the National Action to stop THAAD which PSPD is actively participating have hold press conferences and rallies urging to stop all the process concerning THAAD deployment including land supply. THAAD is very important issue that an acting president Hwang Kyo-an has neither responsibility, authority or legitimacy to decide and force. At least, the next administration has to thoroughly review before deciding what to do and take a step of getting ratification of the National Assembly.
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