Opposition blasts novelist backing ruling candidate
By Kim Jung-yoon
Opposition supporters attacked Lee Oi-soo with fierce criticism after the novelist-turned-instigator tweeted support for a ruling Saenuri Party candidate on twitter Monday.
“I support Han Ki-ho, Saenuri candidate running for underdeveloped border areas of Cheorwon-eup, Hwacheon-eup, Yanggu-gun and Inje-gun of Gangwon Province, as I believe Han has firm determination and enthusiasm”, said Lee on his Twitter account, instead of backing Jung Tae-soo of the main opposition Democratic United Party (DUP).
The unexpected comment was later battered with assault from opposition supporters as Lee had previously emerged as a Twitter star for the opposition sympathizers by criticizing the Saenuri Party and President Lee Myung-bak.
Lee even promised the public that he would shave his head if the turnout exceeds 70 percent, urging voters to actively participate in the Assembly election, as a high percentage turnout will likely favor the opposition.
The latest comments outraged more than 1.3 million followers and Social Network Services (SNS) users, who regarded Lee as a betrayer.
Some of the followers called Lee a fascist for supporting the Saenuri Party candidate, saying it is humiliating that he is supporting the ruling party.
As the controversy continued to swirl, some users defended Lee by saying he can back any candidate he wants, and that he is a mature progressive.
Chin Jung-kwon, a renowned liberal professor also explained that condemning the government does not mean to only vote for a DUP candidate, and every voter has the right to express opinions about the candidates in their constituency.
“I would rather make a rational decision on account of the candidate’s pledges and activities, than be biased with a single party’s ideology”, the anti-government novelist said against brutal criticism from the opposition.
Meanwhile, Lee has recommended 10 independent and DUP candidates on Twitter, while criticizing Saenuri’s Kim Jong-hoon on Monday, a rival candidate of Chung Dong-young running for Seoul’s Gangnam B district on the DUP ticket.