[Apr 17] ROK general election held on April 15
Photo: Assembly.go.kr. National Assembly Speaker Moon Hee-sang votes in ROK General Elections
On April 15, 2020, Republic of Korea held its 21st general election to select 300 parliamentarians who will take charge of the National Assembly for the next four years. Since the citizens were voting amid COVID-19, they went through strict measures of cleaning their hands with sanitizers, wearing face masks and plastic gloves, standing at least one meter apart and making anyone above 37.5°C cast their vote in separate booths. COVID-19 confirmed patients were able to send ballots via postal mail (absentee voting) prior to the election day.
From April 10 to 11, advanced voting was held and a total of 26.69% of ROK citizens participated, which is the highest advanced voting rate in the history of Korea. The total voting rate for the general election was 66.2%, which is the highest in 28 years, after the 14th general election in 1992. This election was also the first since the Assembly passed the amendment for Public Official Election Act last December, allowing 18-year-olds to vote and introducing Semi-Mixed-Member Proportional (MMP). Citizens were given two ballots, one for the local constituency and another for proportional representation.
The results came out as a ruling party’s victory. President Moon Jae-in’s Democratic Party of Korea won 163 seats in the 300-seat National Assembly, and the party’s sister group, the Citizen Party won 17 seats, together taking 60% of the Assembly’s seats. United Future Party, as the leading opposition party, took 84 seats, and its sister group Future Korea Party took 19 seats, winning 103 seats together in total. Justice Party came in third with six seats, and People’s Party and Openminjoo Party took three seats respectively. Five independent candidates were elected and filled up the 300 seats of the 21st Assembly.
Out of the 300 seats, women took 57 seats (19%) in the Assembly from this election. This ratio is slightly higher than the last Assembly (17%) Although it is still lower than the average OECD ratio (28.8%), experts take it as a step forward towards a more gender-balanced politics.
NA. (2020, April 16). 제 21대 국회개원 당선인 현황. Retrieved from https://open21.na.go.kr:444/open21/geteltinfo/member-state.do
A-News. (2020, April 16). 21대 총선 최종투표율 66.2% 확정. Retrieved from http://www.a-news.co.kr/news/articleView.html?idxno=192228
NEC. (2020, April 11). 사전투표 1,174만 여 명 참여, 투표율 26.69%로 역대 최고. Retrieved from https://www.nec.go.kr/cmm/dozen/view.do?atchFileId=cd6beff6b4f4e23cf3ba8f107724ecb707c38dd6a746b22e03dcbd1ef0b262f1&fileSn=1
Metroseoul. (2020, April 15). [선택 2020]21대 총선, 이렇게 바뀌었다...'만 18세 투표, 연동형비례. Retrieved from https://www.metroseoul.co.kr/article/20200415500238
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