Main opposition secures large majority in election, crushes ruling party

Rep. Lee Jae-myung, leader of the main opposition Democratic Party of Korea (DPK), speaks to reporters at the National Assembly in Seoul, Wednesday, after watching exit poll results of the general elections. Korea Times photo by Shim Hyun-chul

The main opposition Democratic Party of Korea (DPK) has clinched a landslide victory in Wednesday’s general elections, significantly outperforming its rival, the conservative ruling People Power Party (PPP). This victory consolidates the liberal party and creates an even larger opposition-dominated Assembly for the next four years.As of 9 a.m. Thursday, with nearly all votes counted, the DPK managed to win 174 seats out of 300. Broken down, this works out as 161 constituency wins and 13 proportional representation seats secured by its satellite party, the Democratic United Party, according to the National Election Commission (NEC).The PPP has obtained a total of 108 seats, including 18 gained through proportional representation by its satellite party, the People Future Party.This marks the third consecutive victory for the main opposition DPK, following the general elections held in 2016 and 2020 when it was the main opposition and the ruling party, respectively.According to the NEC, the Rebuilding Korea Party (RKP), a minor progressive party led by former Justice Minister Cho Kuk, has secured 12 seats through the proportional representation system, marking a successful debut in its first elections since its launch in March.

Among other minor parties, the Reform Party, led by former PPP leader Lee Jun-seok, obtained two seats. The Saemirae Party, headed by former DPK Chairman Lee Nak-yon, and the Jinbo Party, have each secured one seat. The opposition parties have collectively secured over 180 seats, falling short of the exit polls results announced yesterday, which forecast that the broader opposition bloc could win as many as 200 seats.Although the 200-seat scenario — which would have posed a significant threat to President Yoon Suk Yeol, due to the power it would afford to the winning side, to amend the Constitution and neutralize the president’s veto power — was narrowly missed, the broader progressive opposition bloc, with over 180 seats, may still exert collective power over Yoon through concerted legislative action. This means that they still have the ability to “fast-track” bills, shortening the deliberation process, thereby making plenary voting faster than that of other bills. For this they would need support from at least three-fifths of the total Assembly members.

Additionally, they can halt a filibuster — a procedural delaying tactic often used by politicians — with the support of 180 lawmakers.The opposition bloc’s resounding victory paints a bleak picture for Yoon.Wednesday’s elections were widely considered a critical midterm referendum for the president, who is approaching his two-year mark in office next month. Due to his party’s crushing defeat, Yoon has become the first-ever president in Korea’s current presidential system, established in 1987, to face an opposition-controlled Assembly throughout his entire five-year term, which began in May 2022.Moreover, the government faces heightened risks of legislative setbacks to its budgetary and policy agendas as the RKP, whose mantra is to “end the Yoon government and its prosecutorial tyranny,” made a successful debut by securing 스포츠토토존 12 seats. The liberal party is expected to play a decisive role in parliamentary votes.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *