January 12, 2012 13:10
All eyes this election year are on young voters in their 20s, who have emerged as a key voting bloc capable of swinging the election.
Turnout among voters in their 20s exceeded 50 percent just once between 2000 and 2010, and it seemed they had turned their backs on politics. But all that changed last year in the October by-elections for Seoul mayor, when the winning independent candidate was able to mobilize large numbers of young voters in his favor.
Now the established parties too are wooing the younger vote for fear of losing out of the feeding troughs.
Last December, the Grand National Party chose 28-year-old Lee Jun-seok to take part in an emergency committee following the resignation of the party chief. His appointment opened a new era in Yeouido, the hub of Korean politics. The Democratic United Party has also announced that it will promote one male and one female candidate between the ages of 25 and 35.
Political figures on all sides are paying more attention to young voters. Young people in their 20s are the main users of social networking sites, and their online political participation has expanded to offline activities.
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