Rival political parties had mixed reactions to the Supreme Court upholding a two-year prison term for South Gyeongsang Gov. Kim Kyoung-soo for collusion in online opinion-rigging ahead of the 2017 presidential election.
The ruling Democratic Party(DP) on Wednesday expressed disappointment, but said it respects the top court's decision.
Its presidential contenders criticized the ruling, with former DP leader Lee Nak-yon posting on social media that Kim's efforts to attest to the truth were not accepted. Gyeonggi Gov. Lee Jae-myung also described the ruling on social media as regrettable and that it was a pity.
The main opposition People Power Party(PPP), on the other hand, said opinion-rigging is an act that regresses and destroys democracy, adding that the ruling proves Kim's denial of the collusion was a lie all along.
The PPP also urged President Moon Jae-in and the ruling party to apologize for distorting public opinion and threatening democracy.
Former Board of Audit and Inspection chairman and likely PPP presidential contender Choe Jae-hyeong said he respects the court decision, expressing hope for an end to opinion-rigging in domestic politics.
Former Prosecutor-General and another opposition contender, Yoon Seok-youl, said the ruling puts into question the very legitimacy of the current administration.