South Korea

By election losses may trigger reshuffle


Published

The ruling Grand National Party (GNP) lost ground yesterday (Wednesday 27th April) in by elections taking place across South Korea. Traditionally by-elections are held twice a year, in April and October for any vacancies in national and local government that have occurred in the preceding period.

The greatest loss was the Bundang by-election in which senior opposition Democratic Party (DP) figure Sohn Hak-kyu won in a traditionally safe GNP seat.

There were two other National Assembly by-elections in Suncheon and Gimhae. In the Gimhae seat former prime ministerial nominee Kim Tae-ho (GNP) made a political comeback after he was forced to resign last year over a scandal.

The other major setback for the government was for provincial governor in the Gangwon province where Choi Moon-soon of the DP defeated the GNP candidate who had been expected to win.

The results of the wider elections, where the GNP lost a number of other minor seats suggests that the middle classes are revolting against the government. This is almost certain to trigger a cabinet reshuffle in the hope that this will bring in fresh blood to a government that is looking tired.

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