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Korean President’s Vote for Korea: Few Choices on Two Harms | Choices

South Korea’s presidential election, scheduled for March 9, 2022, appears to have been a death knell between the ruling Democratic Alliance (DP) Lee Leeeeung and Yoon Seok-youl of the main opposition People Power Party. (PPP). Representatives of the third party in the presidency, such as Sim Sang-jeung to the left of the Justice Party and Ahn Cheol-soo of the centrist People’s Party, do not have enough support to run for office.

Yet Lee, or Yoon does not give the people of South Korea a clear vision of the country’s future – most of all, they do not seem to have any real idea of ​​protecting South Korean life in the midst of the ongoing COVID-19 epidemic. Instead, they are using most of their power to fight each other – the two have repeatedly denounced the fraud and said their enemy will “go to jail” after the election.

So it is not surprising that many South Koreans do not seem to be interested in the election, and many say they have no choice but to vote for someone they consider “less than two evils”. Recent polls also paint a picture of a country that has not been affected by the elections.

An international survey conducted by the Korea Society Opinion Institute on December 10-11, for example, confirmed that Yoon had a 42 per cent consent against Lee 40.6 per cent (with a difference of 1.4 per cent among the nominees to be successful within the +/- 3.1 per cent vote limit of errors). So far, in a Channel A poll conducted on December 1, more than 50 percent of respondents said they did not like both Lee and Yoon.

So the outcome of the election is still very much in the air. However, there are things that can help voters decide who is really “the least of the two evils”.

One of the things that can play an important role in determining the outcome of an election is the experience of Lee and Yoon (and errors among their relatives). Lee, a former governor of Gyeonggi Province, has been linked to a major land development crisis there. Yoon is said to have been involved in politics when he was a prosecutor.

Yoon applied and Lee agreed to have a special consultation to investigate all of these cases. But neither the ruling DP nor the opposition PPP have ever taken the initiative to do so – the parties seem to be talking about what people want to look for in themselves. While there is no guarantee that the polls will go ahead before the election, if they do, Lee or Yoon, or both, could be forced to withdraw from the race based on their findings.

The possible relationship Lee and Yoon can have with those who want to become a third party is another factor that can help determine the outcome of an election. In fact, if the competition is as strong as it is now in the new year, third party candidates could become kings by providing support behind Yoon or Lee. Lee can seek the help of Justice Party Sim, and Yoon of the People’s Party Ahn. But when both parties of the third party launched a campaign with the aim of swaying the two major parties in the election, forming any such alliance is not possible.

In this article, another important factor in determining who will win the March election is the ability of Yoon and Lee to secure a partnership in their respective constituencies.

After Lee was elected in October, the DP’s ruling approval dropped by 13.9 percent, (from 63.3 percent to 49.4 percent) in the southwestern state of Honam, a popular DP constituency. The decline was mainly due to outrage among supporters of former Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon, who won the Lee primaries, whose appeal against the results was rejected by the DP. Although Lee Nak-yon eventually conceded defeat, Lee still needs to defend his party alliance. To achieve this, they need to include Lee Nak-yon in his campaign in some way, as he still controls large DP support in the Honam region, and has a common interest in central voters, especially in Seoul.

As a newcomer to politics, Yoon also initially faced a major challenge to support all factions of his party, largely due to the months-long public feud between him and the party leader, Lee Jun-seok, in the run-up to the elections. Lee shows that he feels like he is being followed on the road. However, the dispute was resolved earlier this month, with Lee and Yoon discussing the matter. Yoon later brought in Kim Chong-in, a well-known political analyst, to lead his elected committee with the approval of the party leader. However, many experts warn that a power struggle between the party leader and the presidential candidate could escalate in the near future.

All in all, neither Yoon nor Lee came out on top as a talented politician who could solve many of South Korea’s problems as President. The biggest obstacle to their success is seen as voters, especially young voters, frustrated with them and their parties. Indeed, in spite of countless rudeness and countless failures, the two major political parties in the country have not altered the political process or created new incentives that could lead the country through many internal and external crises.

This frustration led the young voters to revolt against the April mayoral election and give the ruling DP victory. And at the same time, the Korea Society Dissatisfaction Survey conducted by Seoul National University found that 6 out of 10 Koreans — more than 58 percent of the population — are in a state of “constant anger” largely because of “immorality and corruption” . of political parties ”.

While many Koreans are still embroiled in domestic debt, with prominent politicians including presidential candidates showing a lack of a clear plan to back them up, public outrage on the political party is still more intense than ever.

The people of South Korea, especially the young voters, want a leader who will increase the movement of the people and solve their economic problems. He also wants a leader who will end corruption and make South Korea a fair nation. While most voters believe that Yoon or Lee will not be the leader, they will monitor their movements in the coming months, and eventually vote for someone who they think is “less than two evils”.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Al Jazeera.

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