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Candidates crisscross on Easter Sunday

The ruling and opposition camps went all out over the weekend, considered the last possible chance to gain more support before the by-election this Wednesday.

Parties especially kept watch for foul play from opponents in the forms of illegal campaigning or slander.

Candidates in the Bundang-B constituency, in which the most intense contest is expected between two big names, largely sought the favor of religious circles through Easter events in the area.

Kang Jae-sup of the ruling Grand National Party attended the Easter services on Sunday morning in three major churches in Bundang.

He also met with local residents to discuss the remodeling plans for old apartments, a matter of great interest for middle-class homeowners in the area.

His bitter rival, Sohn Hak-kyu of the main Democratic Party, focused on canvassing the district. He hopped from parks to football fields to discount stores, urging younger voters to practice their rights on Wednesday.

Both candidates also participated in the Easter’s eve mass Saturday night.

In Gimhae, the hometown of the late President Roh Moo-hyun, former Gyeongsang Governor Kim Tae-ho and Lee Bong-soo of the minority People’s Participation Party adhered to their core campaign messages.

Lee once again stressed his political ties with the late liberal president, while Kim focused on meeting local residents in an effort to cut into his rival’s lead.

In the eastern province of Gangwon, GNP candidate Ohm Ki-young, under suspicion that his camp may have taken part in illicit campaigning, attended the Easter service in Wonju Sunday morning before joining a mountaineering party in the afternoon.

Gangwon police have requested the arrest warrant for what Ohm’s camp said were call center employees for their apparant illegal campaigning on his behalf. Ohm’s camp flatly denies their involvement.

His rival, Choi Moon-soon of the DP, took a tour of major cities, during which he urged Ohm to take responsibility and drop out.

Though illegal campaigning emerged as a hot issue, Ohm still leads Choi in most public opinion polls, but Choi will be looking to catch up in a televised debate with Ohm on Monday.

By Bae Hyun-jung (