Opposition parties have dismissed President Moon Jae-in’s idea to provide a “consolatory" stipend to the general public as empty words in the run-up to the by-elections.
In a written statement on Friday, main opposition People Power Party spokesperson Kim Eun-hye raised the suspicion over the timing of the presidential remark. The mayoral by-elections for Seoul and Busan are set for April.
She accused the president of deceiving the public with taxpayers’ money and not feeling apologetic to those hit hard by the protracted pandemic.
Opposition People’s Party chief Ahn Cheol-soo, who is running for Seoul mayor, also said hypothetical talk of an uncertain future can only be seen as linked to the elections.
Ahn added what the president should do now is inform the public of when they can expect to receive their COVID-19 shots and when they can expect to overcome the crisis.
In a meeting with the ruling Democratic Party leadership earlier in the day, President Moon had suggested that the government consider distributing “consolatory money” to the Korean people to boost public morale and consumption when the COVID-19 crisis is near its end. It came in response to party leaders’ suggestion of direct financial support for the public.