South Korea’s ruling party wins local elections

Seoul, Jun 2 (EFE).- South Korea’s ruling People Power Party (PPP) won a resounding victory in the recent local and provincial elections, reinforcing its position in the country’s political system where it does not enjoy a majority in the parliament, according to the vote count that concluded Thursday.

The conservative PPP, led by the newly elected President Yoon Suk-yeol, won 12 of the 17 metropolitan mayoral and gubernatorial posts contested, including Seoul, while the opposition Democratic Party (DP) won in five.

The closest contest was at Gyeonggi Province – the country’s most populated province and which surrounds Seoul -, where the DP candidate, former Finance Minister Kim Dong-yeon, defeated PPP’s Kim Eun-hye by just 0.1 percent of the votes.

DP, however, lost in the country’s three major cities – Seoul, Incheon and Busan – in the election held Wednesday.

Ruling PPP also won in the provinces of North and South Gyeongsang, and the important cities of Sejong, Daejeon, Daegu o Ulsan.

The interim committee heading the DP stepped down en bloc in the face of the disappointing results and called for regenerating the party.

“I think that we have completed the real change of the government by winning the local elections after the presidential election victory,” PPP floor leader Kweon Seong-dong said, according to Yonhap agency.

The party’s president, Lee Jun-seok, also expressed his gratitude to voters for giving them “a chance to take over a considerable part of regional administration following the presidential election victory.”

This victory gives a renewed impetus to the PPP, which will be in power at least until the 2024 legislative elections with DP enjoying a majority in the National Assembly, or parliament.

DP won only five key races – the mayorship of Gwangju and the governorship of Gyeonggi, North and South Jeolla provinces and Jeju. EFE


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