South Korea's ruling party takes landslide general election victory

17, Apr. 2020

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SEOUL, Kyodo - South Korea's ruling party earned a landslide victory in Wednesday's general election, capturing nearly two-thirds of the parliament, major broadcasters reported.

The outcome demonstrates voter satisfaction with the way the government of President Moon Jae In has handled the coronavirus outbreak in the country.

The ruling Democratic Party of Korea and the Platform Party, its satellite that only targets proportional representation slots, won 180 seats out of the 300 that were up for grabs, while the main opposition United Future Party and its affiliate won 103 seats, according to the media.

Prior to the election, the ruling camp held 128 seats and the main opposition 112.

The overwhelming victory gives the Moon administration a stronger political mandate until the end of the leader's single five-year term as president in May 2022, with prospects looking good for the liberal camp in the next presidential election in the same year.

Former Prime Minister Lee Nak Yeon of the ruling party defeated United Future Party leader Hwang Kyo Ahn in an electoral district in central Seoul. Their contest drew huge attention as they are seen as their parties' leading candidates in the next presidential election.

"To satisfy those who have shown support for us, we will do our best to fight the coronavirus," Democratic Party of Korea Chairman Lee Hae Chan said.

The main opposition party's Hwang conceded defeat late Wednesday night and said he will step down as party leader.

Meanwhile, the general election also saw a North Korean defector directly elected to the parliament in South Korea for the first time.

Thae Yong Ho, a former deputy ambassador to North Korea's embassy in London who defected with his family to the South in 2016, won in the affluent Gangnam district in Seoul while running as a United Future Party candidate. (Kyodo)