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Opposition parties secure 192 seats with sweeping win

Posted April. 12, 2024 07:54,   

Updated April. 12, 2024 07:54


The 22nd National Assembly will include 192 members of the anti-Yoon opposition parties.

According to the National Election Commission, on Thursday, the Democratic Party of Korea and the Democratic Coalition secured a total of 175 seats – 161 seats and 14 proportional seats, respectively – in the April 10 general elections. Adding 12 seats of the Rebuilding Korea Party, one seat of the Progressive Party, one seat of the New Future Party, and one local constituency seat and two proportional seats of the Reform Party, the anti-Yoon parties now have 192 seats in total. Meanwhile, the People Power Party only achieved 90 seats, along with 18 proportional seats of the People Future Party, totaling 108 seats. The pan-opposition parties have 84 seats more than the ruling side.

As the opposition parties have secured more than 180 seats, which is 60 percent of enrolled lawmakers and a number of seats required to put legal bills on the fast track, concerns are rising within the ruling party about repeated forceful legislation by the major opposition parties in the 22nd National Assembly. The major opposition parties forcefully processed contentious bills, including the Grain Management Act and the Nursing Act, during the 21st National Assembly by taking advantage of the fast-track system despite the ruling party’s opposition.

With the new election results, President Yoon Suk Yeol won’t be able to pass budget plans and bills for the remaining three years of his term without cooperation from the opposition party. “While the Reform Party is closer to the right wing in terms of its political orientation, it is more like the pan-opposition parties as it is anti-Yoon,” said a political source. “The ruling party does not have any alleys and is likely to find itself in a vegetative state.”

Some believe that if eight or more votes take a different stance from the People Power Party, the president’s veto right is neutralized and constitutional reform or even presidential impeachment is possible. Two hundred seats are required to decide the re-voting of bills returned to the National Assembly by exercising the veto right and to decide constitutional reform and the impeachment of a president. “Complete unity of the opposition parties is unlikely as they had diverging opinions during the candidate nomination process, and many ruling party figures proposed by President Yoon were elected,” said an opposition source.

Once the 22nd National Assembly is launched, a number of special investigations are expected. The Democratic Party of Korea emphasized its intention to process the special investigation of Corporal Chae and the special investigation of Lee Jong-sup, starting on the day after the election day. The Rebuilding Korea Party also reemphasized its intention to pass the special investigation bill of Han Dong-hoon, which was its election pledge.

안규영기자 kyu0@donga.com