24 Aug '11, 2pm

Tearful Seoul mayor loses vote on schoolchildren's free lunch

Tearful Seoul mayor loses vote on schoolchildren's free lunch

Voters in Seoul rejected an attempt by the mayor, Oh Se Hoon, to take away free meals from some schoolchildren. -- PHOTO: REUTERS SEOUL (AFP) - Voters in Seoul on Wednesday rejected an attempt by the mayor to take away free meals from some schoolchildren, dealing a blow to South Korea's ruling party ahead of national elections next year. The seemingly parochial issue turned into a closely-watched battle after mayor Oh Se Hoon, seen as a potential presidential candidate for the Grand National Party (GNP), pledged to resign if the move was not approved. At a televised media conference on Sunday, he knelt down before the cameras and began crying, appealing to voters to come out and deliver a judgment against what he branded 'welfare populism' and a pork-barrel policy. But the citizens were unmoved by his plea, and only 25.7 per cent of the 8.4 million electorate turned out to...

Full article: http://www.straitstimes.com/BreakingNews/Asia/Story/STISt...

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