Posted October. 28, 2009 06:46,
By-elections to fill five vacated parliamentary seats today will likely serve as a gauge of the country`s political sentiment.
The five constituencies are Suwon and Ansan in Gyeonggi Province; Gangneung in Gangwon Province; the region covering Jeungpyeong, Jincheon, Goesan and Eumseong in North Chungcheong Province; and Yangsan in South Gyeongsang Province.
They will be the first elections held in all provinces excluding Jeolla and Jeju since the launch of the Lee Myung-bak administration.
Since the by-elections are a precursor to the local elections in June next year, todays vote will likely have a huge impact on party dynamics. They will also likely affect pending issues such as the dispute over the Sejong City administrative region.
The voting will run from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. The National Election Commission said preliminary results will come out around 11 p.m.
Ruling Grand National Party Chairman Chung Mong-joon said in a statement to the people, Please support the ruling party for stable administrative management.
Main opposition Democratic Party leader Chung Sye-kyun said, These by-elections must serve as an opportunity to judge the mistakes of the ruling party.
Minor conservative Liberty Forward Party chief Lee Hoi-chang said, The Liberty Forward Party is the only party that represents the Chungcheong provinces.