South Korea releases 2022 local election results today. This election is the first nationwide local (distinct from presidential) election under
South Korea releases 2022 local election results today.
This election is the first nationwide local (distinct from presidential) election under the presidency of Yoon Suk-yeol and will coincide with by-elections for vacant seats in the National Assembly. The election is the first test for the Yoon administration and the popularity of Yoon’s People Power Party (PPP). The Democratic Party of Korea (DPK) has previously had success in securing victories at the local level, including winning the last local elections by a landslide. Given this, the PPP is trying to secure control of local administrative units to further cement their grip on power.
Expect that this local election will be a win for Yoon’s People Power party given relatively favorable public sentiment. This follows the approval of a supplementary budget of $49.5 billion, one of Yoon’s on the back of a promise by the government to compensate business owners for pandemic-related losses. If the PPP wins, expect a push for more neoliberal economic policies, such as the easing of property taxes. In the long run, a PPP victory may lead to greater assertion of Korean economic power in the Indo-Pacific region, undercutting China in the wake of the pandemic.
[Updated June 5th] President Yoon Suk-yeol’s PPP decisively won the election, but voter turnout was 50.9%, the lowest since 2002.