South Korea’s Opposition bloc wins overwhelming victory in Parliamentary vote

Seoul, April 11 (IANS) The main opposition Democratic Party (DP) retained a majority in the National Assembly in Wednesday’s general elections, dealing a blow to the ruling People Power Party (PPP) and President Yoon Suk Yeol. With almost all votes counted, the DP secured 161 out of 254 directly contested seats, while the PPP only managed 90 seats.

The wider opposition bloc, including the Rebuilding Korea Party led by scandal-tainted former Justice Minister Cho Kuk, is expected to win over 180 seats combined. The New Future Party (Saemirae) and the New Reform Party are also projected to secure seats. The election results reflect public dissatisfaction with the Yoon administration just two years into his term, with the PPP barely avoiding a two-thirds majority loss to the opposition.

In the proportional race, the PPP’s sister People Future Party was leading, followed by the DP’s sister Democratic United Party and Cho’s Rebuilding Korea Party. This election was crucial for the PPP, as a failure to regain a majority could leave the Yoon administration hamstrung for the remaining three years of his term.

The DP criticized the Yoon administration as “incompetent,” blaming it for worsening economic conditions and mishandling controversies. PPP leader Han Dong-hoon expressed disappointment with the exit poll results, while DP Chairman Lee emphasized a commitment to steer the country forward. Cho hailed the results as a victory for the people and called on Yoon to accept the outcome humbly.

In the wider Seoul area, the DP swept most constituencies, securing 102 out of 122. Meanwhile, in Gyeonggi Province, the DP won 53 seats, traditionally a party stronghold. Voter turnout hit a 32-year high, with 67% of eligible voters casting their ballots, marking the highest turnout for general elections since 1992.

Overall, the election results highlight a significant shift in South Korea’s political landscape, with the DP maintaining its majority in the National Assembly and the PPP facing challenges in regaining control. The aftermath of the elections will likely shape the country’s direction in the coming years, as both parties seek to address pressing issues and cater to public demands.


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