Rep. Min Kyung-wook of the main opposition United Future Party filed a petition with the Supreme Court on Thursday, asking it to nullify the results of last month’s general elections. He claimed that the government rigged the vote to help his rival from the ruling party win.
“The April 15 election was a fraudulent election with QR code computer manipulation and voting fraud. We should carry out a fresh round of elections,” the journalist-turned-politician said in a press conference before filing a petition with the Supreme Court in Seoul.
Rep. Min failed to retain his constituency in Incheon, losing to rival Chung Il-young of the ruling Democratic Party by a small margin of 2,893 votes.
He refused to accept the results and demanded the ballots and boxes be preserved as evidence. A lower court granted his request.
Now taking his claim to the highest court, Min said the results of early voting were “statistically impossible without manipulation.” The number of voters and ballots doesn’t match, and ballots from some electoral districts had been missed during vote counting, he claimed.
Min had a narrow lead over his rival in votes cast on Election Day, but advance voting results tipped the scale in favor of Chung.
The National Election Commission denies the allegations of electoral malfeasance, saying they are “groundless and not worth the attention.” It said it may take legal action if needed to defend its reputation.
Meanwhile, Shim Jae-chul, acting head of the conservative main opposition United Future Party and its floor leader, said the ruling camp had won the election because it offered massive cash handouts to voters, referring to a disaster relief program for households to help them cope with the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I’m concerned that populism may run to extremes ahead of every election in the name of policy and system,” he said.
By Park Han-na (firstname.lastname@example.org