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South Korea’s Prime Minister and high Presidential officers provide to resign after election defeat

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South Korean Prime Minster Han Duck-soo leaves after attending the commemoration ceremony for the a hundred and fifth anniversary of the institution of the Provisional Government of the Republic of Korea in Seoul, South Korea, on April 11, 2024.
| Photo Credit: AP

South Korea’s Prime Minister and senior Presidential officers supplied to resign en masse on April 11 after their ruling get together suffered a crushing defeat within the Parliamentary elections in an enormous blow to conservative President Yoon Suk Yeol.

“The results of Wednesday’s elections (April 10) mean the liberal Opposition forces will prolong their control of Parliament until after Mr. Yoon completes his single five-year term in 2027. That will likely set back Mr. Yoon’s domestic agenda and weaken his grip on the ruling party as he faces the Opposition’s intensifying political offensive during his remaining three years in office,” consultants say.

“Prime Minister Han Duck-soo and all senior Presidential advisors to Mr. Yoon, except those in charge of security issues, submitted their resignations,” in keeping with Mr. Yoon’s workplace. It didn’t instantly say whether or not Mr. Yoon accepted their resignations.

Executive energy in South Korea is closely concentrated within the President, however the Prime Minister is the No. 2 official and leads the nation if the President turns into incapacitated.

“Mr. Yoon said he will “humbly uphold” the general public sentiments mirrored within the election final result and give attention to enhancing folks’s financial conditions and on reforming State affairs,” Mr. Yoon’s Presidential chief of workers, Lee Kwan-seop, mentioned in a televised briefing.

In a separate information convention, ruling People Power Party chief Han Dong-hoon mentioned he would step down as properly to take duty for the election defeat. “I apologise to the people on behalf of our party, which wasn’t good enough to win the people’s choices,” he mentioned.

“With most of the votes counted, the main Opposition Democratic Party and its satellite party appeared to have won a combined 175 seats in the 300-member National Assembly. Another small liberal Opposition party was expected to win 12 seats under a proportional representation system, “according to South Korean media tallies.

Mr. Yoon’s ruling People Power Party and its satellite party were projected to have obtained 108 seats. The final official results were expected on April 11.

Regardless of the results, Mr. Yoon will stay in power and his major foreign policies will likely be unchanged. But Wednesday’s elections were widely seen as a mid-term confidence vote on Mr. Yoon, a former top prosecutor who took office in 2022.

Mr. Yoon has pushed hard to boost cooperation with the United States and Japan as a way to address a mix of tough security and economic challenges. But he has been grappling with low approval ratings at home and a liberal Opposition-controlled National Assembly that has limited his major policy platforms that require legislative approvals.

Hong Sung Gul, a public administration expert at Seoul’s Kookmin University, said Mr. Yoon will likely find it more difficult to implement business-friendly policies and tax reforms, as the Opposition parties are likely to aggressively flex their legislative muscles.

“When it comes to policies, important ones like tax system reforms require legislation. I think there is a high possibility for the opposition parties to put a break on Yoon’s such policy agendas,” Mr. Hong mentioned.

Mr. Yoon’s critics have accused him of failing to resolve livelihood points resembling hovering costs, refusing to shortly hearth some high officers implicated in scandals, and missing efforts to speak with Opposition leaders for coverage coordination.

Earlier this yr, Mr. Yoon briefly loved rising approval scores over his sturdy push to drastically enhance the variety of medical college students regardless of vehement protests by incumbent medical doctors. But the medical doctors’ walkouts ultimately left Yoon going through rising calls to discover a compromise, with sufferers and others experiencing delays of surgical procedures and different inconveniences.

The rival events’ campaigning forward of Wednesday’s elections deepened South Korea’s already critical conservative-liberal divide as they exchanged poisonous rhetoric and mudslinging.

Democratic Party chief Lee Jae-myung misplaced the 2022 Presidential election to Yoon within the nation’s most intently fought Presidential contest. During the 2022 race, Mr. Yoon and Mr. Lee and their supporters spent months demonising one another.

Mr. Lee is eyeing one other Presidential bid. His principal potential conservative rival is Mr. Han, who additionally served as Mr. Yoon’s Justice Minister. Mr. Lee faces an array of corruption investigations that he argues are politically motivated and pushed by Mr. Yoon’s authorities.

“The results of the Parliamentary elections are not the victory by the Democratic Party, but the great victory by our people,” Mr. Lee mentioned on April 11. “Now, the elections are over. Both the ruling and the Opposition political parties must pull together all their strength to resolve economic and public livelihood problems.”

The new Parliament is to start assembly on May 30 for a four-year time period. Of the 300 seats, 254 had been elected via direct votes in native districts, and the opposite 46 by the events in keeping with their proportion of the vote. The remaining voter turnout for South Korea’s 44 million eligible voters was tentatively estimated at 67%, the best for a parliamentary election since 1992, in keeping with the National Election Commission.

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