The ruling Democratic Party of Korea on Saturday selected all candidates for the 17 seats of mayors and governors by nailing down a candidate for the mayor of Daegu. The party has nominated the incumbents and the pro-Moon Jae-in line candidates for the June 13 local elections while the opposition parties are still working on nomination process.
The Democratic Party’s election commission announced former lawmaker Lim Dae-yun won 56.49 percent of the votes, getting ahead of former lawmaker Lee Sang-sik with 43.51 percent in the race carried out on Friday and Saturday for the Daegu mayoral election. Incumbent Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon, who is now seeking a third term, beat Rep. Park Young-sun and Rep. Woo Sang-ho by getting an overwhelming majority vote of 66.26 percent at the primary.
Incumbent governors who have been either selected or recommended as nominees include Gangwon Province Governor Choi Moon-soon, North Jeolla Province Governor Song Ha-jin, North Chungcheong Province Governor Lee Si-jong, and Sejong Mayor Lee Chun-hee. Experts analyzed the incumbents took over an advantageous position in the race due to two factors: the party’s primary election rule applies 10 percent of subtraction ratio to the sitting member of parliament; local elections have been overshadowed by the much-anticipated inter-Korean summit between Moon Jae-in and Kim Jong Un.
The conservative Liberty Korea Party held a nomination ceremony for local elections as early as on April 12. Former Gyeonggi Province Governor Kim Moon-soo, Busan Mayor Seo Byung-soo, Incheon Mayor Yoo Jeong-bok, former Daejeon Mayor Park Sung-hyo, Ulsan Mayor Kim Ki-hyun, Gyeonggi Province Governor Nam Gyeong-pil, former lawmaker Lee In-je and former South Gyeongsang Province Governor Kim Tae-ho will run for the candidacy.
However, the Liberty Korea Party is having difficulty putting up candidates for Gwangju, North and South Jeolla provinces where the party has traditionally a weak base of support. “Despite being the country’s main opposition, there is no one who is willing to run for election in those areas. In order for their election campaign expenses to be covered, they need to get no less than 15 percent of the vote, which must be a huge burden on many of them,” said an official at the party’s nomination committee. Back in 2014, the former Saenuri Party’s nominee Lee Jung-jae secured only 3.4 percent of the vote for the Gwangju mayoral election.
The Bareun Mirae Party selected several members as nominees after confirming Ahn Cheol-soo, the party’s former presidential hopeful, as the candidate for the Seoul mayoral election. It also appointed former Gyeonggi Province Governor Sohn Hak-kyu, as the head of the election committee, to support Ahn’s campaign strategy.
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