The Korea Herald


Official campaigning kicks off for April 10 elections

By Yonhap

Published : March 28, 2024 - 09:56

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This combined photo shows ruling Democratic Party Chairman Lee Jae-myung(Left) and People Power Party leader Han Dong-hoon. (Yonhap) This combined photo shows ruling Democratic Party Chairman Lee Jae-myung(Left) and People Power Party leader Han Dong-hoon. (Yonhap)

Official campaigning kicked off Thursday for the April 10 general elections, with the ruling People Power Party and the main opposition Democratic Party vying fiercely for control of the National Assembly.

The quadrennial race holds significant importance for the ruling party as failure to regain a majority could potentially render President Yoon Suk Yeol a lame duck for the remaining three years of his single five-year term.

The main opposition Democratic Party aims to retain its parliamentary majority.

Recent predictions have suggested that the DP could win more than 200 seats in the 300-member Assembly, a two-thirds threshold that gives the party enough power to override presidential veto and even impeach the president.

The ruling party has pleaded for voter support, imploring that the Yoon administration has been unable to push its reform agenda forward for the past two years in the face of the opposition-controlled National Assembly.

The DP has urged voters to pass stern judgment on what it calls the "incompetent" Yoon administration, accusing it of causing the economy and the livelihoods of the people to worsen seriously and mishandling a series of controversial issues for the past two years.

Leaders of both parties chose Seoul as the starting point of their official campaigning.

PPP leader Han Dong-hoon kicked off the campaign at a fisheries market in Seoul's eastern area, emphasizing his party's efforts to address people's livelihood issues.

"The fate of this nation will be determined by this crucial election campaign period," Han said, adding that the PPP will advocate for hardworking people.

DP Chairman Lee Jae-myung plans to hold an official campaign event at Yongsan Station in central Seoul.

Observers say the 48 constituencies in the capital city are the primary battlegrounds that will ultimately determine the election outcome. Data suggests that results in Seoul often mirror the overall election results.

In the previous election in 2020, the then ruling DP won 41 out of 49 seats, while the United Future Party, the PPP's former name, secured only eight seats. The DP eventually secured a landslide victory by taking 180 out of the 300 seats.

In 2016, the DP won 35 seats, while the Saenuri Party, the PPP's former name, secured 12 seats, resulting in a closely contested yet victorious outcome for the DP. (Yonhap)