Leave it to the South Korean left to lose an election that should have been a landslide in their favor considering how unpopular the ruling party has been in recent months:
South Korea’s ruling party headed toward an upset victory in Wednesday’s parliamentary elections in what would be a major boon for its leader and presidential hopeful Park Geun-hye just eight months before the presidential vote.
With about 84 percent of the votes counted, the ruling Saenuri Party won or was leading in 127 directly contested districts, according to an analysis by public broadcaster KBS based on data from the National Election Commission.
The main opposition Democratic United Party (DUP) won or was ahead in 107 districts, and its coalition partner Unified Progressive Party won two districts and was leading in four other districts, according to KBS.
Six seats were expected to go to the minor opposition Liberty Forward Party or independents.
Combined with proportional seats, the ruling party was expected to win 148 of the total 300 seats up for grabs against the DUP’s 131 seats, KBS said. MBC TV gave a similar projection of the ruling party winning 150 seats and the DUP 130 seats. [Yonhap]
Referring back to my prior article on this election quoting the Korea Economic Reader, it appears the South Korean electorate prefer having their country run by a “party of competent but cynical crooks than a party of incompetent but similarly cynical opportunists”. This is also a big win for Park Geun-hye who took over election responsibilities in December when the conservatives’ public approval ratings were at their lowest. Since then she was able to slowly cut into the large lead the Korean left held mostly due to their own incompetence.
I think Park is now a very strong contender for the Presidency in Korea after this result. The Korean left will probably now be in full panic mode now to get Ahn Cheol-soo to run for the Presidency because he is probably the only one that can beat Park considering these election results.