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Saenuri Party’s Victory of 4/11 General Elections
2012년 04월 12일 (목) ShinYeong Lee, Staff Reporter gabriel@worldyannews.com

The final tallies for the 4/11 General Elections showed an unexpected result. Despite the negative atmosphere towards the Saenuri Party after the last year’s Seoul Mayor Election and its consequent notoriety, the Saenuri Party secured over 150 seats at the National Assembly yet again emerging victorious as the first ruling party.

The United Democratic Party secured 127 seats, the United Progressive Party 13 seats, the Liberal Progressive Party five seats, and three other seats were taken by independent candidates. Vote rates per party recorded 42.77% for the Saenuri Party, 36.37% for the United Democratic Party, 10.31% for the United Liberal Party, and 3.24% for the Liberal Progressive Party.

   
   

While some constituencies had fairly clear-cut results from the get-go, other major battle fronts showed neck-to-neck races until the final tallies. Liberal Progressive Party candidate In-jae Lee, a six-time Chungnam Nonsan/Gyeryong/Geumsan National Assemblyman, Saenuri Party candidate Jae-oh Lee (Seoul Eunpyeong-eul), and United Liberal Party candidate Sang-jung Sim (Gyeonggi Goyang Dukyang-eul) were on the edge of their seats to the very last minute before their victories were announced.

Seoul’s Dongjak-eul was one of the most alluring battlefields of the general elections. Polls had showed that Saenuri Party candidate Mong-jun Jung would have an easy win over United Democratic Party candidate Lee Gae-in, but once the actual ballots were opened the advantage was tossed from court to court. It was only much past midnight that Candidate Jung’s victory was cemented, and he allegedly expressed his great relief over the close match calling it a “World Cup penalty shoot-out”.

Besides these victors, there were 11 constituencies in which victory and failure were decided by a vote difference of less than 1,000 votes. In fact, vote tallies themselves took much longer than during the 18th General Elections keeping many candidates remained tense until well past midnight. The closest match was between United Liberal Party Sang-jung Sim and Saenuri Party candidate Bum-kyu Sohn for the Goyang Dukyang-gab constituency. Candidate Sim won by a mere 170 votes. Candidate Sohn even requested a recount, but the result stayed the same.

The second lowest gap was between Saenuri Party Candidate Jin-gyu Ham and United Democratic Party Candidate Won-woo Baek from the Gyeonggi Siheung-gab constituency at 202 votes. Saenuri Party Candidate Tae-won Kim won by 226 votes over United Democratic Party Candidate Doo-young Song in the Dukyang-eul constituency and United Democratic Party Candidate Ik-pyo Hong by less than 500 votes over Saenuri Party Candidate Dong-sung Kim in the Seoul Sungdong-eul constituency.

Yong-min Kim, the notorious United Democratic Party candidate who was at the center of attention recently for some decidedly controversial remarks, never made it to the big leagues. Although he persevered to the end despite his Party’s insistence that he resign and almost violent opposition from voters, Kim was just not Nowon-gu’s choice.

Yong-suk Kang, another candidate who took the spotlight for controversial comments and slander against political opponents, ran for a National Assembly seat in the Seoul Mapo-eul constituency, but received a pitiful 3.9% vote. He had initially shown confidence when Kim stirred the beehive with his obnoxiousness, but that confidence seems that have been misplaced.

While the Saenuri Party had attained an unexpected victory on a national scale, the United Democratic Party succeeded in securing Seoul as its base of operations. The United Democratic Party took 30 of the 48 Seoul seats while the Saenuri Party had to be satisfied with 16, the lowest number of seats since 1987. The Saenuri Party lost Jongno, one of the Party’s leading bases, and barely hung on by the fingernails to the Gangbuk area.
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