November 26, 2022

The Nationwide Election Fee (NEC) determined Monday to permit COVID-19 sufferers and people in quarantine to place their votes into poll containers themselves after an earlier resolution to gather their votes in unofficial containers first sparked widespread complaints of foul play.

The election watchdog got here beneath hearth following revelations virus-infected voters and other people beneath self-isolation weren’t allowed to place their votes into poll containers and election officers as an alternative collected them in plastic luggage and different unofficial containers throughout early voting Saturday.

The oblique voting sparked suspicions of election rigging, however the NEC has flatly rejected such claims.

On Monday, the NEC held an emergency assembly to debate the problem and determined to permit virus sufferers to place their votes into poll containers the identical approach as different voters within the March 9 election after common polling closes.

Virus sufferers and people in quarantine can vote from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. after getting non permanent depart permits from well being authorities earlier than going to the polls.

“As a substitute of handing their ballots to election officers from non permanent polling cubicles, they’ll put their votes into poll containers themselves,” the NEC stated. “If voting of normal voters doesn’t finish till 6 p.m., virus sufferers will wait at a separate location outdoors the polling station and might forged their votes in spite of everything common voters depart the station.”

Each Lee Jae-myung of the ruling Democratic Get together (DP) and Yoon Suk-yeol of the primary opposition Individuals Energy Get together (PPP) earlier slammed the NEC’s poor voting operations, whereas President Moon Jae-in additionally expressed remorse over the controversy.

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A virus affected person casts a vote at a polling station in Jeonju, North Jeolla Province, on March 5, 2022, the final day of the two-day early voting interval. (Yonhap)

Whereas the NEC was busy determining options, the 2 main candidates ramped up their campaigning to consolidate help and broaden their attraction to floating voters.

Lee of the liberal DP began the day on the nation’s southern resort island of Jeju and moved up north to hit main cities.

“State affairs usually are not a observe discipline for novice amateurs,” Lee stated at a rally in Jeju. “What’s going to the nation be like if the chief is ignorant, incompetent and irresponsible?”

The previous Gyeonggi governor then made stops in Busan, Daegu and Daejeon. He’ll wrap up his day by day rally schedule in Cheongju, some 140 kilometers south of Seoul.

DP Chairman Tune Younger-gil, in the meantime, was attacked by a person in his 70s with a hammer whereas campaigning for Lee in Sinchon, western Seoul. He was taken to a hospital with a head harm, although officers stated it’s not life threatening. The assailant was instantly restrained by individuals on the scene and brought into police custody.

Each the DP and the PPP condemned the assault, calling it a severe risk to democracy.

Yoon of the conservative PPP centered on campaigning in Gyeonggi Province, South Korea’s most populous province.

The previous prosecutor common visited Guri, Hanam, Anyang, Siheung, Ansan and Hwaseong. He’ll later go to Osan and Pyeongtaek.

“That you must be clear and can’t deceive individuals,” Yoon stated in Guri. “After watching what the federal government of the Democratic Get together has finished the final 5 years, I really feel dangerous that it’s utilizing ‘democratic’ in its title.”

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Ahn Cheol-soo of the Individuals’s Get together, who dropped out of the race to help Yoon, joined the PPP candidate’s rally in Hanam. He’s additionally set to talk for Yoon in Hwaseong.

In the meantime, Sim Sang-jeung of the minor progressive Justice Get together campaigned in Seongnam, Cheongju and Hwaseong. She is going to later go to Suwon and Anyang earlier than ending her day by day schedule in Guro district, southwestern Seoul.