South Korea

Ruling party wins again


The ruling Saenuri or New Frontier Party (NFP) (formerly the Grand National Party – GNP) has achieved a surprise win in yesterday’s general election.

The Saenuri Party took 152 of the 300 seats in the National Assembly, a drop of just one seat on their result in 2008. Late last year opinion polls suggested that they would be lucky to win 100 seats. The turnaround is being placed largely with their new leader Park Guen-hye. She must now be considered the favourite to win the presidential election which takes place on 19th December.

The opposition Democratic United Party (DUP) had expected to win the election but as the new year progressed they failed to make impact with the voters and won 127 seats, that remains an impressive increase on 2008 when they won 81 seats.

The other two parties to win seats were the left wing Unified Progressive Party (UPP) which took 13 seats, an increase of 8 seats and the centre-right Liberal Forward Party which dropped from 18 seats in 2008 to just five seats yesterday. Three independents also won seats.

Turnout in the election was 54.3%, up 8.2% on four years ago.

The result means that there will be no change in policies either domestic or international and the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the United States will also remain in place.

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