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Conservatives set to win landslide victory in Seoul, Busan by-elections


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The main opposition People Power Party (PPP) is likely to sweep the mayoral by-elections in the nation's two largest cities of Seoul and Busan by a landslide, giving a boost to the party ahead of next year's presidential election and further pushing beleaguered President Moon Jae-in into a lame duck presidency.

As of 11 p.m., the PPP's Seoul mayoral candidate Oh Se-hoon was leading Park Young-sun of the DPK 56.6 percent to 40.4 percent in Seoul, while in Busan the PPP's Park Heong-joon had nearly double the votes of the DPK's Kim Young-choon, at 63.1 percent to 34.2 percent. The final results are expected to come out around 3 a.m. Thursday.

The by-elections to choose new mayors of Seoul and Busan took place at 3,459 polling stations across the country.

The mayoral posts of the nation's largest- and second-largest cities have been vacant following the resignation of former Busan Mayor Oh Keo-don in April last year and the suicide of former Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon last July after both of them faced allegations of sexual harassment.

The new mayors of the two cities will assume the job, Thursday, and will serve out the remaining 15 months of the former mayors' four-year terms until June 30, 2022.

In response to an exit poll result which almost confirmed Oh's victory, an emotional Oh, a former two-term Seoul mayor from 2006 to 2011, refrained from speaking, citing the ongoing vote counting, but the party's interim leader Kim Chong-in said the expected result was reflecting public anger over the Moon administration's irrational governing style.

"I think the elections mark a victory of the people's common sense ... this may be the expression of the people's rage toward the government today," Kim said.

If elected, a win will bring Oh back to the mayoral post 10 years after he quit the job during his second term in 2011 in protest against the opposition-dominated city council's introduction of a free school lunch program for all students.

His rival, Park Young-sun, told reporters, "I humbly accept the result," after her meeting with the party leadership, virtually conceding the election although official vote counting was not over.

The victory in Seoul and Busan, if confirmed, would be the first huge triumph for the conservative PPP after it lost the 2016 general election, the 2017 presidential race, the 2018 local elections and the general election last year, in which it saw the DPK take 180 parliamentary seats or a supermajority in the National Assembly. It will give high hopes to the party in the run-up to the next presidential election, scheduled for March 2022.

 

http://img.koreatimes.co.kr/upload/newsV2/images/202104/298d73738cea48d1a8662d8812ea2ba8.jpg
Park Young-sun of the ruling Democratic Party of Korea meets with party members at her election camp in Seoul, Wednesday. Korea Times photo by Shim Hyun-chul


Winning the mayoralties, especially in Seoul, was critical for both parties as the result is seen as a litmus test for next year's presidential poll as the capital is home to nearly 10 million of the country's 52 million total population.

However, the DPK was more desperate as it badly needed a win in Seoul, which would have provided a boost to President Moon.

The by-elections took place as the Moon administration and the ruling party have been struggling with public anger and falling approval ratings over their unsuccessful real estate and housing policies. In addition, a land speculation scandal involving public officials at the state-run developer, the Korean Land and Housing Corp. (LH), in the lead-up to the election added fuel to the fire, further pulling down their support.

In response, the PPP staged a campaign calling on voters to pass a judgment on the current government's policy failures.

Also, the by-elections were broadly considered a referendum on the Moon administration's handling of state affairs, with him in his final year in office. The biggest election defeat in five years dating back to the 2016 general election is expected to speed up a lame-duck presidency for Moon.

According to a Gallup Korea survey, last week, Moon's approval rating dropped to its lowest point at 32 percent, along with the disapproval rating at 58 percent, due mainly to his administration's poor real estate policies that have failed to curb skyrocketing housing prices nationwide. According to political analysts, a 30 percent approval rating is seen as the Maginot Line for a lame duck.

The stunning loss would deal a brutal blow to the President's bid to push ahead with key state policies such as overcoming the COVID-19 pandemic, reviving the sluggish economy and rooting out corruption in the housing market, something backing up the idea that the leader should carry out a massive reshuffle of Cheong Wa Dae to turn things around.

 

https://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/nation/2021/04/356_306802.html

 

 

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According to Wikipedia: "The PPP has a strong socially conservative tendency and advocates traditional family values and national patriotism. Most PPP politicians oppose LGBT rights. Oh Se-hoon and other politicians, known as moderate conservatives, are also opposed to homosexuality. The party is strongly opposed to the comprehensive anti-discrimination law, which includes sexual minorities, saying it reverse discriminates against women."

I guess there will be no social progress in the next few years for South Korea if they manage to also win the next presidential election and also gain more seats in the national assembly. Even Japan has been making slow progress on these issues recently but it seems like SK is just going backwards.

Edited by Nirgil
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12 minutes ago, Nirgil said:

According to Wikipedia: "The PPP has a strong socially conservative tendency and advocates traditional family values and national patriotism. Most PPP politicians oppose LGBT rights. Oh Se-hoon and other politicians, known as moderate conservatives, are also opposed to homosexuality. The party is strongly opposed to the comprehensive anti-discrimination law, which includes sexual minorities, saying it reverse discriminates against women."

I guess there will be no social progress in the next few years for South Korea if they manage to also win the next presidential election and also gain more seats in the national assembly. Even Japan is making slow progress on these issues recently but it seems like SK is just going backwards.

Yep. There won't be any social progress in Korea if the PPP wins the presidential election. This is terrible news. 

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i guess, i'm sort of not surprise it's going this way in korea

if we exclude social views...when some citizens feel like things are being taken away from them they're more likely to vote conservative. more nationalistic and patriotic...

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I'm not Korean but from what I can tell, Moon really fucked up if he lost the support of his own voters to these candidates. The housing issues are apparently very bad in Korea. Sad because there is still so much that needs to be reformed by an actual progressive administration like women's rights and education. 

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1 hour ago, Nirgil said:

According to Wikipedia: "The PPP has a strong socially conservative tendency and advocates traditional family values and national patriotism. Most PPP politicians oppose LGBT rights. Oh Se-hoon and other politicians, known as moderate conservatives, are also opposed to homosexuality. The party is strongly opposed to the comprehensive anti-discrimination law, which includes sexual minorities, saying it reverse discriminates against women."

I guess there will be no social progress in the next few years for South Korea if they manage to also win the next presidential election and also gain more seats in the national assembly. Even Japan is making slow progress on these issues recently but it seems like SK is just going backwards.

To be fair the current administration hasn't done much for Korean women either. I think the only fair representative of women will be through the Women's Party but who knows how long that will take to even be accepted. Women are being fired for being feminists.

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10 minutes ago, camelliabloom said:

To be fair the current administration hasn't done much for Korean women either. I think the only fair representative of women will be through the Women's Party but who knows how long that will take to even be accepted. Women are being fired for being feminists.

Exactly. The Democratic party is also actually conservative/centrist when it comes to social issues despite their own claims, and the parties that would seriously try to make progress in all forms of equality unfortunately only have a combined representation of ~3.5% in the National Assembly so they won't be in power any time soon. 

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42 minutes ago, camelliabloom said:

To be fair the current administration hasn't done much for Korean women either. I think the only fair representative of women will be through the Women's Party but who knows how long that will take to even be accepted. Women are being fired for being feminists.

Exactly. But the PPP party coming in will set the country even farther back. 

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Considering there's fresh examples on the terrible job conservative governments are doing or did on their countries, that's just dumb.

Oh how many of my uncles and aunties voted on Bolsonaro because of the "family values" (they are just homophobes), or economy. Now too many people are dying from covid (including one of my aunties who believed in Bolsonaro when he said it wasnt that serious and stopped caring about social distancing) or suffering from hunger while the president seems to be just laughing at our faces with his actions. 

Good luck to them, if it goes wrong it's the marjority fault anyway, just like here.

Edited by Usagi.
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