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March 9 presidential election just 100 days away

Posted November. 29, 2021 07:24,   

Updated November. 29, 2021 07:24


The next presidential election of South Korea is 100 days away as of Monday. On the surface, candidates of the ruling and opposite parties seem confident about their victory in the run-up to 100-day presidential race. However, a bitter competition for power is unfolding behind the scenes. Many opinion polls show that ruling Minjoo’s candidate Lee Jae-myung still fails to reach votes gained by the then elect Moon Jae-in in the 19th presidential election.

Likewise, main opposition People Power Party’s candidate Yoon Seok-yeol earns lower approval ratings than required levels for change of government. All of this is driving up competition between the two major candidates for finding a breakthrough.

The top priority of Lee’s and Yoon’s campaigns is to draw and unite their main supporters – liberals and conservatives, respectively. Yoon aims to gain the upper hand by winning over the hearts of those who have supported President Moon but are left dissatisfied with his administration. Spurring nimble effort to unite with the Open Minjoo Party, Lee visited Gwangju and South Jeolla Province over the weekend, emphasizing the close connection between the party and the region in question to solidify the party’s main supporters.

Meanwhile, Yoon has a goal of becoming a conservative candidate with the highest number of votes gained ever in the Jeolla provinces, according to an insider of his campaign. In this light, Kim Han-gil, a former leader of the New Politics Alliance for Democracy (NPAD) which is a forerunner to the Minjoo Party of Korea, was invited to Yoon’s campaign as a chairman in charge of preparations for a new era in its committee for the 2022 presidential election, he explained.

As voters in their 20s do not show an overwhelming support of either of the two candidates yet, both the ruling and opposite parties stand to compete fiercely to draw young generations who hold the casting vote in their hands.

Kyung-Suk Kang coolup@donga.com · Sung-Hwi Kang yolo@donga.com