Main opposition leader apologizes over campaigner's death

February 27, 2012 12:05 pm 

SEOUL, Feb. 27 — The leader of the main opposition Democratic United Party apologized on Monday after a voluntary campaigner jumped to his death amid allegations of irregularities in a primary race to select one of the party's candidates in the southern city of Gwangju for April's parliamentary elections.

The campaigner jumped -off the fifth floor of a community center building on Sunday evening after election officials visited him on tips that he used illicit means to rally supporters of a contestant to join an electoral college to be set up to determine the party's candidate in a Gwangju constituency.

The campaigner, surnamed Cho, was immediately taken to a hospital, but died.

Cho is said to be close to a municipal office chief supporting DUP lawmaker Park Joo-sun seeking reelection in the district. Park's office claimed that Cho acted on his own and it has nothing to do with him. It also claimed that the rival camp tipped election officials off about Cho's alleged irregularities.

On Monday, DUP Chairwoman Han Myeong-sook offered a public apology over the death, saying a "shocking" incident has happened due to the "excessive overheating" of the campaigning in the Gwangju constituency.

Han said the party immediately halted the primary race in the district, and will look throughly into the case and deal sternly with anyone responsible according to its outcome.(PNA/Yonhap)

FPV/jnc

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