Song Kyung-seok / Pool Images / AFP via Getty Images
SEOUL – South Korea’s governing Democrats suffered a devastating defeat in Wednesday’s mayoral election, a good thing for next year’s presidential race.
President Moon Jae-in’s party has lost both sides with large margins in capital Seoul and the country’s second-largest city Busan to the conservative opposition People’s Power Party (PPP).
In Seoul, Oh Sehun of the People’s Power Party gained 57.5% of the vote and won the return to his tenure from 2006-2011, his rival Park Young-sun, a woman who worked as a minister in government. Moon’s got 39.2% of the votes in Busan, conservative Park Heong-joon received 62.7% of the vote against the liberal Kim Young-choon 34.4%.
The ruling side achieved four victories. Major elections since 2016, including the landslide elections in April. But the support of Moon and his party has been devastating steadily since then.
In the past year, early praise for Moon’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak has caused economic woes, especially rising housing prices. Public outrage has escalated to the land speculation scandal involving the government’s housing development agency, which erupted just a month before the election.
Moon said in a statement on Thursday that he “Acknowledging the blame of the country very seriously” in the election and vowed to deal with such important issues Economic recovery and the elimination of real estate damage
The president, however, failed to resolve one of the biggest issues raised by Wednesday’s opinion polls – Gender, two former Mayors of Seoul and Busan, both representing DPs, were stripped of office after a woman official accused them of. They are sexually abusive Park Won, a former mayor of Seoul, has taken his own life on the charge.
The party’s initial reluctance to admit Park’s wrongdoing and defending the accuser from those questioning her motives, seemingly shut down by voters. During the Seoul campaign, the mishandling of allegations of sexual harassment by the party led not only to ire. Of the main opposition But it came from four of the party’s second female candidates who were at least 15 years younger than the 61-year-old DP Park Young-sun candidate.
While the four women received just 1.8% of the vote, they represent a record five female candidates in the election of Seoul mayors: Park Young-sun and the wishes of the voters. Younger women to be listened to
Wednesday’s retirement poll showed 15.1% of women aged 18-29 voted for candidates outside of the two major parties. The figure is very high compared to other demographic groups, all of which provide less than 6% of support for independent or secondary candidates. It also reflects the separation of some young women from the DP, which is usually largely supported by the young female voters.
But a woman’s voice should no longer be clearly heard from any one of them. Kwon Soo-hyun, the director of Korean women’s political solidarity, said the party after the election, she said DP was more concerned about young male voters, who became more conservative in the During the past decade They dropped more than 70% of their ballots to the opposition on Wednesday. At the same time, PPP’s gender policy signaled that there would be no structural reforms other than handling small complaints.
In a victory speech on Thursday, Seoul’s new Mayor Oh Sehun promised to see female employees who were victims of his ancestors’ sexual harassment immediately return to work.
Kwon said she didn’t believe that. “Gender equality will be his core value as the new mayor runs the city government,” but added. “I hope he will keep his promise and remember if something similar happens.”