Seoul, Busan Go to the Polls

  • By Hwang Dae-jin, Roh Suk-jo, Joo Hee-yeon, Kim Hyeong-won

    April 07, 2021 12:44

    Voters in Seoul and Busan go to the polls on Wednesday to elect their new mayors, while 17 other regional seats are also up for grabs. Polling stations are open from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.

    Some 12.2 million citizens in Korea's two biggest cities are eligible to cast their ballots or more than a quarter of all voters in the country.

    A voter casts a ballot in the mayoral by-election at a polling station in Seoul on Wednesday. /Newsis

    The ruling Minjoo and main opposition People Power Party are fighting for the posts in what is widely seen as a verdict on the central government, which has been plagued by scandals and incompetence in recent days, not least its failure to secure plentiful coronavirus vaccines and widespread land speculation by public servants.

    In Seoul, the MP's Park Young-sun, a former minister of SMEs and Start-ups, is pitted against former Mayor Oh Se-hoon, who wants another crack at the job.

    The MP on Tuesday warned a victory for the PPP would "take the country back to the past." But the PPP said it is time for change given that the by-elections are only being held because the two former mayors from the MP were guilty of sexual harassment.

    Park Young-sun (left) of the Minjoo Party and Oh Se-hoon of the People Power Party campaign in the mayoral by-election in Seoul on Tuesday.

    Turnout on the two days of early voting last week saw a record 20.54 percent. Both parties claim that high turnout on the main voting day will work in their favor, but so far all bets are off.

    The results are expected around midnight.

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