Tuesday, May 21 2024 | Time 03:11 Hrs(IST)

S. Korean PM, senior secretaries offer to resign over parliamentary elections defeat

S. Korean PM, senior secretaries offer to resign over parliamentary elections defeat

Seoul, April 11 (UNI) South Korean Prime Minister Han Duck-soo and almost all senior presidential secretaries on Thursday offered to resign over the ruling People Power Party's crushing defeat in parliamentary elections, local media reported citing the presidential office.
Han verbally tendered his resignation to President Yoon Suk-yeol and all the senior presidential secretaries, including chief of staff and chief secretary for policy, offered to step down except aides in the national security office.
President Yoon said he will humbly accept the will of people, shown in the elections, and will make his best efforts to reform state affairs and stabilize the economy and the people's livelihoods, according to the presidential office.
The quadrennial polls for 300 members of the National Assembly were carried out across the country on Wednesday to let voters cast ballots for 254 constituency seats and 46 proportional representation (PR) slots.
The liberal opposition bloc has won more than three-fifths of seats in the parliamentary elections, widely seen as a mid-term referendum to evaluate Yoon's management of state affairs.
The main liberal opposition Democratic Party took 161 directly-contested constituency seats, while its satellite parties secured 14 PR slots.
The minor liberal Rebuilding Korea Party earned 12 PR seats, while the minor center-left New Future Party and the minor leftist Progressive Party gained one respective seat in electoral districts.
The number of parliamentary seats, snatched by the broader liberal bloc, totaled 189.
The governing conservative People Power Party and its sister party obtained 90 constituency seats and 18 PR seats each.
The minor center-right New Reform Party garnered one constituency seat and two PR seats.
In the 2020 general elections, then-ruling Democratic Party acquired 163 constituency seats and 17 PR slots, beating then-opposition People Power Party that took 103 parliamentary seats in addition to four seats won by conservative independent candidates.
Local conservative newspaper Dong-A Ilbo said that voters passed judgment on the government of Yoon who took office in May 2022 by offering a sweeping victory to the Democratic Party.
It marked the first time in the country's modern history that any governing party was beaten by such a large margin in parliamentary polls conducted as a mid-term election towards the incumbent government, the newspaper noted.
Another conservative daily Chosun Ilbo stressed that Yoon faced his biggest political crisis with the crushing defeat for the ruling party, saying that his policy agendas would run into danger.
At least 10 potential dissenters from the People Power Party could make it possible to override presidential vetoes, amend the constitution and even impeach the president, the newspaper warned.
The tentative final voter turnout was 67.0 percent, or 29,662,313 voters among the electorate of 44,280,011 people.
It was higher than the previous election's 66.2 percent in 2020 and marked the highest in 32 years since the turnout posted 71.9 percent in 1992.
The turnout of early voting, held last Friday and Saturday, reached the highest 31.28 percent since the early voting was first adopted in the 2014 local elections for the nationwide election. It was higher than 26.69 percent in 2020.
The turnout of overseas voting, which continued for six days through April 1 among domestic voters staying abroad, logged a new high of 62.8 percent. The overseas voting was introduced in 2012.

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