Ruling Democratic Party (DP) clinched a landslide victory in parliamentary elections, according to preliminary election results released on Thursday, as voters apparently supported the government’s efforts to overcome the new coronavirus crisis.
South Korea held the quadrennial elections on Wednesday to fill the 300-member unicameral National Assembly — with 253 directly contested seats and 47 proportional representation (PR) slots — in the midst of the country’s battle against the COVID-19 pandemic.
The ruling DP and its satellite Platform Party targeting the PR slots are forecast to secure 180 seats, three-fifths of the total. The main opposition United Future Party (UFP) and its sister party are likely to win 103 posts.
The ruling party succeeded in winning a majority of parliamentary seats for the first time in 16 years.
With 99.3 percent of the votes for the directly contested seats counted, the National Election Commission (NEC) said the DP took the lead in 163 constituencies across the nation, followed by the conservative UFP, with 84 districts.
With 92.7 percent of the votes for PR seats counted, the Korea Future Party, the UFP’s satellite party targeting the slots earned 19 seats, followed by the DP’s Platform Party with 17 seats. The final results were anticipated later in the day.
South Korea’s elections have been closely watched from overseas as the country became the first major country to hold nationwide polls since the COVID-19 crisis began sweeping the globe.