Opposition parties widely anticipated to win election: analysts

Democratic Party of Korea (DPK) Chairman Rep. Lee Jae-myung  speaks on the campaign trail in Suyeong District, Busan, Thursday. Yonhap

As the April 10 general elections approach, analysts predict that liberal opposition parties are likely to secure a victory over the ruling party, fueled by increasing calls to hold the Yoon Suk Yeol administration accountable.In the 2020 parliamentary elections, the Democratic Party of Korea (DPK) secured a landslide victory, claiming 180 seats in the 300-seat Assembly. This contrasted with the 103 seats obtained by the predecessor of the current ruling People Power Party (PPP). Out of the 300 National Assembly seats up for grabs, 254 are directly contested, while 46 are filled through proportional representation.“I believe opposition parties are poised to triumph in next week’s elections. The PPP may encounter a notable setback, potentially facing a loss of more seats compared to four years ago,” said Park Chang-hwan, a political commentator and professor at Jangan Unviersity.”The opposition parties are likely to take more than 180 seats, while the ruling party and its satellite party could secure between 100 and 110 seats,” said Kim Sang-il, a political commentator. Lee Joon-han, a professor of political science at Incheon National University, projected that the PPP may secure a maximum of 120 seats.In their respective forecasts released on Wednesday, the PPP anticipates gaining approximately 90-100 seats, while the main opposition DPK projects to secure 110 seats or more.Analysts observe that the greater Seoul area, Chungcheong regions and Busan, Ulsan and South Gyeongsang Province are major battlegrounds that may influence the outcome of the elections.

“Voters in the greater Seoul area are known to be particularly sensitive to issues surrounding housing prices and real estate taxes. In the Chungcheong region, the PPP is widely expected to secure victory, given that it’s the hometown of the president’s father. The strategic significance of Busan, Ulsan, and South Gyeongsang Province for the PPP lies in its ability to exert greater influence on the surrounding regions,” said Eom Kyeong-young, director of the Zeitgeist Institute, a private political think tank.Lee mentioned Incheon’s Gyeyang-B constituency, the Dongjak-B constituency in southwestern Seoul and the Yangsan-B constituency in South Gyeongsang Province are particulary competitive.“These three constituencies are receiving increased attention as heavyweights from the two major parties are set to face off there. In Gyeyang-B, DPK Chairman Rep. Lee Jae-myung is contending against former Land Minister Won Hee-ryong of the PPP. Dongjak-B stands out as the most fiercely contested district in Seoul, while Yangsan-B is recognized as the most competitive within the so-called ‘Nakdong River Belt,'” Lee said. The Nakdong River Belt refers to electoral districts in the southeastern port city of Busan and South Gyeongsang Province. The upcoming general elections are regarded as a litmus test of the voters’ evaluation of the current administration at its mid-term. Yoon assumed office in May 2022.Analysts highlighted that a candidate’s misconduct and use of offensive language could potentially influence the outcome of the elections during the remainder of the campaign period.

“DPK candidate Kim Jun-hyuk falsely claiming that Ewha Womans University’s first president Kim Hwal-ran had sexually enslaved students for U.S. military officers, and another DPK candidate Yang Mun-seok buying an apartment by taking out a business loan under the name of his daughter are likely to influence voters’ perceptions of the party. Depending on how the party addresses these issues of candidate misconduct, the DPK may face the risk of losing up to 50 seats in the elections,” Kim said.Another issue is the prolonged strike by trainee doctors and some senior physicians. Yoon exhibited initial signs of flexibility in his medical reform plan this week as an effort to resolve the standoff. He met with Park Dan, the head of a group of junior doctors, on Thursday. However, it appears that the issue is unlikely to be resolved in the near future.“I’m not sure how the situation will unfold, but if the medical crisis remains in deadlock throughout next week, calls to bring judgment on the current administration will only increase. Yoon engaging in dialogue with trainee doctors could potentially halt the downward trend for the PPP. Nevertheless, the prospect of reversing this trend appears improbable at this stage,” Park said.Analysts said voter turnout can also influence the outcome of the elections.According to data from the Ministry of the Interior and Safety, individuals aged 60 and above make up 31.4 percent of the 44.3 million eligible voters, surpassing the 28.8 percent belonging to the 20s and 30s age groups.“A high turnout rate among voters aged 60 or older may be favorable for the conservative PPP, as this demographic typically exhibits a stronger preference for the PPP,” 카지노사이트킹 Eom said.

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