Korea Rides The Saenuri Wave In By-Elections

Article from Yonhap News:

Great Win for Saenuri Party, Great Loss for New Politics Alliance for Democracy (NPAD) ; Opposition Gets Swept Away

Despite the unfavorable Sung Wan-jong situation, the Saenuri Party sweeps the elections in major cities and the ruling party maintains its political hold.

The opposition reboots with Pro-Park Corruption Gate, Moon Jae-in’s fatal blow.

Independent Chun Jung-bae downplays talk of Honam reform… Jung Dong-young fails to win seat.

The Saenuri Park government, entering the second half of the [5-year] presidential term, did better than expected in the local elections held April 29th.

The Saenuri Party participated in 4 local by-elections, with three of its candidates coming out victorious in Gwanak (Seoul), Seo-gu (Incheon), and Seongnam (Gyeonggi-do). NDAP defector turned independent candidate Chun Jung-bae won in Ganghwa (Incheon).

Starting from far left: Chun Jung-bae, Shin Sang-jin, Oh Shin-hwan, Ahn Sang-soo win by-elections. In the April 29 local elections, independent candidate Chun Jung-bae won in Seo-gu (Gwangju) and Saenuri Party candidates Shin Sang-jin, Oh Shin-hwan, and Ahn Sang-soo won in Seongnam (Gyeonggi-do), Gwanak (Seoul), and Ganghwa (Incheon) respectively.

Starting from far left: Chun Jung-bae, Shin Sang-jin, Oh Shin-hwan, Ahn Sang-soo win by-elections. In the April 29 local elections, independent candidate Chun Jung-bae won in Seo-gu (Gwangju) and Saenuri Party candidates Shin Sang-jin, Oh Shin-hwan, and Ahn Sang-soo won in Seongnam (Gyeonggi-do), Gwanak (Seoul), and Ganghwa (Incheon) respectively.

Saenuri Party Chairman Kim Moo-sung, Floor Leader Yoo Seung-min, Secretary General Lee Goon-hyun, and other leaders applaud as they watch the voting results.

Saenuri Party Chairman Kim Moo-sung, Floor Leader Yoo Seung-min, Secretary General Lee Goon-hyun, and other leaders applaud as they watch the voting results.

The afternoon of April 29 during the ballot counting process for the Gwangju elections, the office of defeated NPAD candidate Cho Young-teck is littered with bottles of "Vita500." This drink was at the center of a high-profile political scandal involving allegations that the late former Chairman of Kaengnam Enterprises Sung Wan-jong put 30 million won in boxes of Vita500 to give to Prime Minister Lee Wan-koo. During the recent by-elections, the Saenuri Party was mired in the 'Sung Wan-jong scandal,' but the NPAD still had a weak turnout.

The afternoon of April 29 during the ballot counting process for the Gwangju elections, the office of defeated NPAD candidate Cho Young-teck is littered with bottles of “Vita500.” This drink was at the center of a high-profile political scandal involving allegations that the late former Chairman of Kaengnam Enterprises Sung Wan-jong put 30 million won in boxes of Vita500 to give to Prime Minister Lee Wan-koo. During the recent by-elections, the Saenuri Party was mired in the ‘Sung Wan-jong scandal,’ but the NPAD still had a weak turnout.

In a tent pavilion in Gwanak on the night of April 29, National Assemblyman turned candidate Chung Dong-young who was defeated in the elections, and 'Union of the People' Co-chair Kim Se-kyun wear grim expressions.

In a tent pavilion in Gwanak on the night of April 29, National Assemblyman turned candidate Chung Dong-young who was defeated in the elections, and ‘Union of the People’ Co-chair Kim Se-kyun wear grim expressions.

The Saenuri Party swept three city districts, while Chung Dong-young’s last minute defect caused a split in liberal votes, and led to the opposition party’s shocking defeat in Gwanak, considered “traditional soil” where their candidates have been unbeaten in the last 27 years.

Moreover, despite unfavorable conditions in the Park administration, all the Saenuri candidates won their elections.

According to the National Election Commission, the prime battleground for this election was in Gwanak Eul [Seoul], where Saenuri’s Oh Shin-hwan won 43.9% of the vote, followed by NPAD’s Jang Tae-ho (34.2%), and Independent Jung Dong-young (20.2%). Oh Shin-hwan enjoyed winning the “gold badge” of the congressman for the first time.

[…]

Given today’s election results, Saenuri holds 160 seats in the National Assembly, up from 157 (130 regional and 27 representative). NPAD maintains their original 109 seats (109 regional, 21 representatives), and Independents gained 3 seats. The remaining 5 lawmakers were from the Justice Party.

The biggest factor working against Saenuri today was the Sung Wan-jong scandal, which seems to have had a large effect on voters nationwide. In particular, in this third year of their term, Park Geun-hye’s government has pushed forward measures to reform the pension plans of public servants, gaining political momentum in the process.

Representative Kim Mu-sung kept this trend of support up by going around the country under the banner of the Saejumma (Saenuri + ajumma) who always work hard to keep local issues in mind. This by-election was the first test for him, and the overwhelming victory has put him in a strong position for solidifying his leadership within the party, as well as setting himself up as a strong Saenuri presidential candidate.

This by-election is particularly relevant, and if seen as a prelude to the 20th general election next year, this “3 city victory” by the Saenuri party carries great significance.

On the other hand, there is an increasing chance that the NPAD, who is pushing for a special investigation into the Pro-Park corruption scandal, will hand over the leadership to the ruling party and go on the defensive.

The leadership will seemingly descend into chaos as responsibility for the defeat in the elections becomes an issue, inevitably dealing a considerable blow to Moon Jae-in for the title of presidential candidate in his face-off against Saenuri Party Chairman Kim Moo-sung.

Above all, as the leading opposition’s position has been fatally shaken in their traditional stronghold of Honam it seems the leading party’s will be making political reforms.

On the other hand, there was a 36% voter turnout for this election. This was 3.1% higher than the turnout for the July 30 election last year, and the analysts surmise this is because the initial prediction of a “close election” boosted interest in the election.

[…]

Comments from Naver:

king****

It has begun again. “Damn oldies”, “rigged election”, “low turnout”, “let’s emigrate”, “candlelight vigils”, kekekekekeke

joon****

Conservatives are quiet but strong.

jusi****

There is no future for the party that promotes propaganda and riots.

zero****

It seems Moon Jae-in will lose in the next presidential election again.

mjgr****

Do you acknowledge your defeat?? [Imitating Moon Jae-in’s speech]

toto****

It’s not that Saenuri has done well. It’s more that NPAD is so stupid. Because they went apesh*t with their Sewol mantra everyday, calling for replacement and punishment of the current administration.

jh96****

Good riddance after they have always manipulated social media and internet comments, appealing to emotionalism.

wpsw****

Sung Wan-jong and Lee Wan-gu, these two were disasters for Saenuri. Yet, NPAD couldn’t win. There is just no hope for them!!

99wi****

Voters: I hate Saenuri but I hate NPAD even more.

syye****

NPAD, there are still a lot of supporters for Pres. Park. Help the government when you have to instead of only trying to undermine them.

pure****

Conservatives speak with votes.

chip****

I guess zombies will flock to the Gwanghwamun and try to overturn the election results with violent protests again?

mach****

Why don’t you change yourselves even though you lose in every election? Discard the NPAD title and reassemble the party after persecuting the pro-North Korean agents among you guys!!!

4720****

Moon Jae-in criticized Lee Wan-gu like a commie. It was tasteless. Inconsiderate NPAD who only criticize for the sake of criticizing should abandon their Pro-North Korean tendency. I hope for the emergence of a new progressive party without a pro-North Korean bias. It seems the NPAD just won’t make it.

77ks****

NPAD turned a blind eye to commoners’ lives by opposing civil servants’ pension reforms. They talked bullshit, saying that Seowl victims should be promoted to men of national merit. They worked together with the United Progressive Party and made hardcore pro-North Korea Lim Su-gyeong a lawmaker. I would never vote for them.

dhzp****

This is the true will of people, you beggars.

ultr****

Enlightened citizens and conspiracy theorists, why don’t you pick any celebrity scandal and claim that it is yet another attempt to divert attention from politics this time? NPAD is about to collapse. Cyber warriors, what are you doing?

mjgr****

“I will humbly accept the will of people!!” “Just for a week!!!”

appr****

So the zombies’ firepower only amounts to this much.

edwa****

Okay but how was even Ahn Sang-su re-elected? You knucklehead NPAD. What’s in your brain? Are you guys even human?

Comments from Daum:

비스마르크님

The comment sections here have always been spammed with Saenuri-cursing comments. But whenever there is an actual election, you see such different results~~~???? Such a puzzling country.

브릿지존스님

Idiotic NPAD couldn’t win even in such favorable circumstances.

이병도님

Saenuri defeats NPAD 3-0. NPAD always called for punishment of the Park administration. Now they got punished!!

당신은 안다님

Our people are “uncivilized” indeed….

은희아빠님

Saenuri supporters speak with their votes while NPAD supporters speak with internet comments. Thanks to a number of scandals in this Chicken administration, the opposition party had an advantage. Despite this, they have been defeated in elections since last year. They kick away free meals set up for them. There is no guarantee of winning the presidential election in December 2017, either. It will be the third time in a row if another candidate from Saenuri is elected. I don’t want to jinx it but it’s terrifying to imagine it.

신중민님

There is no hope…for this country…

수면부족님

Haha, that trash Jung Dong-young. Long live damn Republic of Korea, fuck.

랑데뷰님

Pessimistic realityㅠㅠ Jung Dong-young, you SoB

물댄동산님

Moon Jae-in should retire from politics.

슬림e님

The rigged election is well and alive.

국가댓글원총동원님

I live in Incheon and I will leave Korea in a year, haha. I will pray Korea will collapse as soon as possible after I leave.

Heydj3님

Fuck, there is really no hope.

내가 너보다 더 사랑할께님

Plow down NPAD!!!

평상심으로님

I expected the NPAD wouldn’t be able to get even a single seat. Although I want the balance of power in politics, I didn’t even make a single internet comment and just looked on with folded arms during this election. Even if they did everything else well, they failed to meet the the people’s expectation for civil servants’ pension reforms. They are paying the price for this alone. The disadvantage of a low population in the regions that support the NPAD. The disadvantage of power imbalance between the conservatives and progressives. In order to overcome these, they should join in reforming civil servants’ pension plans and let go of their vested rights while regaining their original purpose. Otherwise, they can never win against Saenuri.

abdula님

NPAD should disband their alliance and create a Sewol party.

eagle eye님

So from now on, think before you write comments here. Consider the general public sentiment, too. Don’t just up-vote highly up-voted comments ignorantly. Go sleep.

기본만하자님

Keyboard warriors, you guys are truly great, haha

카린114님

Let me tell you why dumb NPAD was defeated badly. People are sick and tired of those who always drag on bashing Park Geun-hye whenever anything happens, the Sewol accident and what not. What kind of future is there for those of who are looking closely at the reform of public servants’ pension plans? Dimwits.

순신사랑님

I told you that if the damn NPAD doesn’t remove that weird yellow ribbon thing from their chest first, they would ruin the election. They have acted as if they are the Party of Sewol and got hammered twice in elections already. They still haven’t woken up. Just go die singing the Sewol mantra for the rest of your life. The Sewol ferry has sunk the damn NPAD. The Sewol party revived the dying Saenuri. The bastard who burned the Korean flag. The Danwon bug who said she would bomb the plane that Pres. Park flies in. The Jeollado thug Kim Young-oh who spewed vulgar curses at President. Ignorant and blind Roh Mu-hyun and Moon Jae-in supporters who didn’t hesitate to besmirch the President’s character as a woman and don’t know how to do anything other than going on about chicken, chicken, chicken… They ruined the damn NPAD.

yonggari님

NPAD’s lopsided defeat was a natural consequence. They have no policies for the nation. They only care about seizing power for themselves. Truly work for the nation, you bastards.

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  • “The Sewol ferry has sunk the damn NPAD.”

    holy 10/10

  • Xman2014

    The NPAD forgot that they still have to govern the country because the country has to go on after the Sewol disaster. Instead what did they do? They shut down the entire government for half a year over the ship accident, trying to bring down a democratically elected government that was voted in by the people legitimately, by force and by encouraging riots and civil disobedience. Such radicalism does not belong in a modern society which is trying to establish fair rules and democratic laws. If the ruling government is doing wrong, then debate them on the floors – show us why the government is wrong, like in any democratic country. But don’t go grabbing the banner and spill onto the streets, wrecking cop cars and buses, and beating up on the poor 20 year old draftee riot cops. Korean public is now beginning to wise up and are now sick and tired of such radicalism. If the NPAD and others don’t change their tactics, then they’ll continue to suffer defeat after defeats, as they’re only helping the ruling conservatives.

    • commander

      The unperformance by the main opposition NPAD is a deep running factional division, coming not from differences in philosophy on how to chart the course for the nation, but from power struggle.

      The jaded electorate appears to uphold the incumbent president’s party, despite the high profile corruption scandal deposing the prime minister who vowed to eradicate corrupt practices in officialdom.

    • wrle

      The sewolho “commemoration” was a just a filthy riot in the guise of a commemoration. A disgusting act in a time when the nation is mourning for the lost lives, regardless of politics. Korean left wingers are more radical and irrational than right wingers. They preach “democracy” yet what they do is so undemocratic and lacks any logical reasoning. I think the korean population at large are fed up.

  • lonetrey / Dan

    Whew, it’s hard for me to keep up with Korean politics. I was wondering what happened to Park Geun-hye until I looked it up and realized they all merged with the Saenuri Party.

  • ShootehAnon

    Eh. All of their parties seem corrupt and brainless to boot.

  • wrle

    Moon Jae In, leader of the Sewolho party.

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