The South Korean opposition wins an overwhelming majority in the parliamentary vote – Global News (Trending Perfect)

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  • Written by Christy Cooney and Jan McKenzie
  • In London and Seoul

Image source, Getty Images

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Lee Jae-myung, leader of the Democratic Party (right), declared the victory a “victory for the people.”

South Korea's opposition Liberal Party won an overwhelming majority in the country's general elections to retain control of parliament.

The Democratic Party and smaller opposition parties won 192 of the 300 seats in the National Assembly.

The vote is widely seen as a midterm referendum on President Yoon Suk-yeol, who has only three years left in office.

His party leader, Han Dong-hun, has resigned, and Prime Minister Han Duk-soo has offered to resign.

This is a crushing defeat for Mr. Yoon and his People Power Party, which has been struggling to advance its agenda in the KDP-dominated legislature. The KDP's victory means they will be able to speed up legislation and push it through parliament.

Both the Democratic Party of Korea and the Pakistan People's Party use affiliated separatist parties to maximize their votes under South Korea's electoral system, which allocates some seats to small parties with fewer seats than overall support.

“This is not a victory for the Democratic Party, but a great victory for the people,” Democratic Party of Korea leader Lee Jae-myung said on Thursday.

“Politicians from both parties must combine our forces to deal with the current economic crisis. The Democratic Party will lead the way in resolving the livelihood crisis,” he told reporters.

Today's result may encourage Mr. Lee, who narrowly lost the 2022 presidential election to Mr. Yoon, to run again.

Mr. Yoon is under pressure to address a number of issues including rising food prices, a rapidly aging population and an ongoing doctors' strike.

In recent weeks, he has been criticized for appearing out of touch with the impact of inflation on voters.

Just last month, he was criticized for commenting during a visit to a supermarket in Seoul that a bunch of green onions priced at 875 won (£0.51, US$0.65) was “reasonable”.

The piece was priced at a discount due to the subsidy, and usually cost between 3,000 and 4,000 won.

The comment sparked a backlash, with bunches of green onions later being used as props at farmer protests and Democratic Party of Korea election rallies.

Mr Yoon's wife, Kim Keun-hee, has also been embroiled in controversy over accepting a luxury bag as a gift, while separate allegations of corruption and abuse of power have been leveled at senior members of his party.

The KDP was also besieged by political differences and internal conflicts, and faced allegations of corruption.

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