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South Korea opposition wins landslide victory in parliamentary vote
Published on: Thursday, April 11, 2024
By: Bernama
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South Korea opposition wins landslide victory in parliamentary vote
Filepic by Reuters
SEOUL: South Korea's main opposition Democratic Party (DP) retained a majority in the National Assembly in Wednesday's general elections in another major setback for the ruling People Power Party (PPP) and President Yoon Suk Yeol.

The DP won 161 out of 254 directly contested seats, while the PPP won only 90 seats. Including proportional seats, the DP and its satellite party garnered 175 seats and the PPP and its satellite party clinched 108 seats in the 300-member National Assembly, Yonhap news agency reported.

The Rebuilding Korea Party led by former Justice Minister Cho Kuk, considered as part of the opposition bloc, won 12 proportional seats, while the New Reform Party led by ousted former PPP leader Lee Jun-seok clinched two seats.

The results illustrated the seriously soured public sentiment toward the Yoon administration just two years after he came into office, with the PPP barely managing to prevent the broader opposition bloc from taking a two-thirds majority.

In the previous elections four year ago, the then ruling DP also clinched a landslide victory by securing a combined 180 seats with its satellite party while the United Future Party, the PPP's former name, and its sister party got 103 seats.

In the proportional race for 46 seats, the PPP's sister People Future Party garnered 37 percent, followed by the DP's sister Democratic United Party with 27 percent and Cho's Rebuilding Korea Party with 24 percent.

A total of 67 percent of the total 44.28 million eligible voters cast their ballots, the highest voter turnout for general elections in 32 years, according to the National Election.

This year's vote carried extra weight for the PPP as a failure to regain a majority could potentially render the Yoon administration a lame duck for the remaining three years of his single five-year term, ending in 2027.

Following the release of the official results, PPP leader Han Dong-hoon resigned to take responsibility for the overwhelming defeat.

"I apologize to people on behalf of our party, which fell short of receiving people's support," Han said during a press conference at the PPP's headquarters in western Seoul.

"I solemnly accept the will of the people and deeply reflect on myself. I take full responsibility for the election results and step down,” he said.

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