S. Korea polls: ruling party eyes big win

Apr 13, 2016, 6:41 AM EDT
South Korea's President Park Geun-hye
(Source: Jan Knüsel/flickr)

As South Korean voters elect a new national assembly in the country on Wednesday, the ruling Saenuri party aims to extend its slender majority, hoping to win at least three-fifth of the seats in the chamber, which is needed for introducing bills and getting them through in the parliament. The outcome of the elections holds huge significance for South Korea’s President Park Geun-hye, whose tenure has been hurdled by legislative impasse, resulting in a sluggish economy and poor employment opportunities.

The BBC writes:

By gaining a majority of seats in parliamentary elections, the ruling government can speed up labour and economic reforms during Park’s remaining 20 months tenure. With a fragmented opposition in South Korea, the ruling party is likely to continue in power, and the elections will reflect a general opinion about the government’s performance.

Reuters reports:

The sluggish economy in addition to government’s failure “to create jobs and get on with structural reforms” has been a concern for voters. The parliament secured political interests at the cost of national security, opined a few frustrated electorates. South Korea’s economy grew by a meager 2.6 percent last year while youth unemployment zoomed to 12.5 percent in February, the highest since the country started maintaining records in 1999.