851 people undergo police probe for election law violations

Du Ri Jang, May 8, 2017, 9:28 a.m.

A total of 851 people have so far been investigated for suspected election law violations related to this week's presidential polls, police said Monday. South Korean voters will go to the polls Tuesday to pick a successor for ousted President Park Geun-hye.

Among the suspected violators booked in 790 cases, those accused of damaging banners or other campaign-related facilities was the largest at 597 persons, followed by 82 persons accused of spreading false propaganda, according to the National Police Agency. The NPA noted other violations included use of violence, distribution of illegal printed materials, provision of cash or gifts and premature electioneering.

Of those under police investigation, seven people have so far been put under arrest, it added.

In the country's southeastern city of Daegu, a voter was arrested for allegedly destroying a campaign vehicle with a pickax, saying that the electioneering was too loud. He is also accused of assaulting an election office worker who was trying to stop him.

Under the law, those who damage election banners or other campaign materials without legitimate grounds can face up to two years in prison or 4 million won ($3,500) in fines.

Police said they have also booked nine people in relation to spreading fake news, though it does not constitute election law violations.

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