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Policy debate for South Korean presidential candidates to be held


Policy debate for South Korean presidential candidates to be held

Yoon Seok Yeol
Photo: Yonhap

The People Power Party (PPP) policy debate for their South Korean presidential candidates begins today.

The major contenders running to replace current President Moon Jae-in are former Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon, and the current governor of Gyeonggi province, Lee Jae-myung on the ruling Democratic Party, and former prosecutor Yoon Seok-youl from the PPP.

Expect Yoon to use today’s debate to focus on the PPP’s support for South Korean ties with US over China. The PPP, which is the main opposition, has been propelled by support from younger voters, who overwhelmingly prefer the US to China. The new chairman of the PPP, Lee Jun-seok, has been vocal in his support for the US, with Yoon broadly sharing Lee’s views.

Declining support for President Moon Jae-in over corruption scandals and his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic has seen the PPP gain popularity over the ruling party in the recent months. Hence, expect Yoon is to remain the most preferred candidate coming out of the debate, as South Korean’s lean towards a party change in the March 2022 election.  If the PPP win that election, expect a shift in foreign policy towards the US and countering Chinese influence in the region.

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