Main opposition secures large majority in elections, crushes ruling party

The main opposition Democratic Party of Korea (DPK) clinched a landslide victory in Wednesday’s general elections, significantly outperforming its rival, the conservative ruling People Power Party (PPP). The victory solidifies the position of the liberal party and establishes an even larger opposition-dominated Assembly for the next four years.The DPK managed to win 175 seats out of 300. Broken down, this works out as 161 constituency wins plus 14 proportional representation seats secured by its satellite party, the Democratic United Party, according to the National Election Commission (NEC).The PPP 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 when it was the main opposition and 2020 when it was the ruling party.

According to the NEC, the Rebuilding Korea Party (RKP), a minor progressive party led by former Justice Minister Cho Kuk, secured 12 seats through the proportional representation system, marking a successful debut in its first election since its launch in March.Among other minor parties, the Reform Party led by former PPP leader Lee Jun-seok obtained three seats. The Saemirae Party, headed by former DPK Chairman Lee Nak-yon, and the Jinbo Party, both secured one seat each.he opposition parties collectively secured over 190 seats, falling short of the exit poll results announced yesterday, which forecast that the broader opposition bloc could win as many as 200 seats.

The 200-seat scenario 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. Although this was narrowly missed, the broader liberal opposition bloc, with over 190 seats, can 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 12 seats. The liberal party is 스포츠토토존 expected to play a decisive role in parliamentary votes.

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