Park pledges “great transformation”, Oh seeks “speedy action”

Apr 02, 2021, 07:34 am

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AsiaToday reporter Jo Jae-hak 

Early voting for the April 7 by-elections has kicked Friday for a two-day run, and attention is focused on different pledges of two candidates, Park young-sun of the ruling Democratic Party (DP) and Oh Se-hoon of the main opposition People Power Party. While Park has emphasized herself as the right person to lead the great transformation in the post-COVID-19 era, Oh has appealed to voters that he can quickly resolve major issues based on his experience as formerly serving as the mayor of the city.

Looking at the five pledges submitted by the two candidates to the National Election Commission, the keywords of the pledges of Park and Oh are “great transformation” and “speed”, respectively.

Park proclaimed a “great transformation” as her post-COVID-19 innovation vision for Seoul, saying that changes are inevitable for the South Korean capital city. As part of her great transformation plan, Park vowed to turn Seoul into a “21-minute compact city,” a concept where basic necessities such as work, education, child care, health care, shopping, leisure and culture, are within a 21-minute reach by foot. 

Her pledges include transition to the digital economy for the next 100 years of the capital city. She announced a pledge to pay 100,000 won for disaster relief to all Seoul citizens in the city’s own blockchain-based cryptocurrency. According to her policy pledges, she would also be committed to fostering new innovative industries based on “subscription economy” and “protocol economy” system. She also pledged to make Seoul a global economic hub where artificial intelligence, 5G networking, block chain and big data are converged. 

Their pledges for young people and women also catch attention. Park pledged to introduce interest-free loan of 50 million won for young people, a 4.5-day workweek for Seoul citizens, and job training programs aimed at preventing working mothers’ suffering from taking a career break. She said she would create a deputy mayor position occupied by a woman. She also pledged to implement the so-called “youth pass system”, which allows young people to use buses and subways at a 40 percent discount. 

Oh emphasized himself as a prepared candidate for Seoul mayor, just as his slogan, “Skilled from the first day,” suggests. His key pledges are speedy housing supply and speedy transportation. He seemingly highlighted the fact that he can achieve tangible results as a mayor immediately. 

Oh pledged to revitalize housing supply through reforming urban planning regulations and normalizing redevelopment and reconstruction. He aims to attract private participation by improving business feasibility by easing regulations on floor area ration and number of floors. He also pledged to quickly open the World Cup Bridge and expand the Dongbu Arterial Road. 

Oh also pledged to focus on balanced development in the north and south regions to narrow gap between them. 

#Park Young-sun #Oh Se-hoon #Seoul mayor #by-election 
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