70 contested districts to determine election outcome

Apr 14, 2020, 09:10 am

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Former Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon (left) of the ruling Democratic Party and Hwang Kyo-ahn, chief of the main opposition United Future Party, appeal to voters on April 13, 2020./ Source: Yonhap News

By AsiaToday reporter Lee Jang-won 

Only one day is left until Election Day! Although the April 15 general election is just around the corner, there are 70 fiercely contested districts that make it hard to guess the outcome of the election. The ruling Democratic Party (DP) and the main opposition United Future Party (UFP) are making last-ditch efforts to win more voter support.

The parties believe there are around 70 contested districts in the metropolitan and Busan-Gyeongam (also known as ‘PK’) region. That is more than a quarter of the 253 constituencies in total. The country’s two main political parties are paying close attention to the outcome of constituency elections that determines a dominant party in the house. For the minor Minsaeng Party and the Justice Party, it could have a decisive influence on forming a parliamentary negotiation body. 

The most contested constituencies in the capital area include Seoul’s Gwangjin-B, Dongjak-B, Songpa-B, and Goyang-C. The ruling party expects to win more than 82 seats, which was secured in the 20th general election, from Seoul, Gyeonggi and Incheon. The UFP is aiming to obtain at least 40% of seats from the capital area.

The PK region is considered to one of the biggest battlegrounds between the DP and the UFP. The outcome remains unclear with top candidates in various constituencies running neck and neck. The rival parties have mixed analysis for Busan, with the DP expecting to win at least 10 seats and the UFP at least 15 seats. Busan’s Nam-B and South Gyeongnam’s Yangsan-B are one of contested constituencies. 

In TK region, the traditional home turf for conservatives, Daegu’s Suseong-B is the district of the greatest interest. In the liberal-leaning Honam region, the DP sees Jeonbuk’s Namwon-Imsil-Soonchang and Jeonnam’s Sooncheon-Gwangyang-Gokseong-Gurye-A as contested districts. 

The rival parties are scrambling to reach out to voters to get the upper hand in these battlefields. Based on optimism about the overall outcome of the election, the DP is encouraging voters to cast ballots for its candidates who are highly likely to win. The UFP is urging supporters to unite to pass judgment on the incumbent government.

“Those who appeal to voters until the last minute will win the race,” said DP Chair Lee Hae-chan at a meeting with party officials on Monday. On the other hand, Park Hyeong-jun, co-chair of the UFP’s election committee, said, “If the ruling party takes 180 to 200 seats, the Republic of Korea will be in jeopardy in the next four years.”

#April 15 general election #Democratic Party #United Future Party 
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