Ferry disaster overshadows S Korean elections

2014-05-22 07:22
Park Geun-Hye

Park Geun-Hye ( Kim Hong-Ji)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

kalahari.com

  • South Korea
    Accessible yet packed with information, South Korea will appeal to geography students and casual... Now R567.00
    buy now
Seoul - South Korea's opposition parties are expected to reap an election bonanza from seething public anger over the government's mishandling of the ferry disaster as campaigning for next month's local polls opened on Thursday.

The 4 June polls are the first nationwide elections since President Park Geun-Hye took office 16 months earlier and are widely seen as a referendum on her performance.

Prior to the 16 April ferry disaster which left more than 300 dead and missing, the elections were seen as a walkover for her ruling Saenuri Party as many middle-of-road voters threw their weight behind the conservative party on hopes it would improve the sluggish economy.

But the disaster has swung the spectrum of opinion to the left and is likely to bring a ballot bonanza to the opposition New Politics Alliance for Democracy (NPAD), especially in pivotal Seoul and nearby Incheon.

Winning these cities is crucial for election victory.

Opinion polls by the three main television networks conducted from Saturday through to Monday put the opposition comfortably ahead of the ruling party in Seoul, slightly in the lead in Incheon and neck-and-neck in Gyeonggi province.

"The government's incompetence in handling the ferry disaster was exposed to public scrutiny for more than a month through TV and other media coverage as it failed to rescue a single life from the sunken ferry", Jeong Han-Wool, executive director of the Centre for Public Opinion Research at the East Asia Institute, told AFP.

"This has made the Park government vulnerable to attacks from the opposition so that the voters should deliver a stern judgement on it through the ballot boxes".

The 6 825-ton ferry carrying an estimated 476 people sank off the country's southwest coast.

As of Thursday morning, a total of 288 passengers have been confirmed dead, most of them students on an organised trip, with 16 others still missing.

Seoul key battleground

"I frankly admit that we will face enormous difficulties in the elections unless we come up with ways to inject new hope and courage in the people", Saenuri Party parliamentary floor leader Lee Wan-Koo told party campaign workers on Wednesday.

His opposition NPAD counterpart Park Young-Sun said at a meeting with her party leaders on Wednesday that voters would send a "strong signal that a government which cannot protect the lives of people and children has no place to exist".

In battleground of Seoul, mayor Park Won-Woon of the NPAD faces a challenge from Chung Mong-Joon of the ruling party.

A victory for Park, a popular former pro-democracy activist, over the business tycoon who once served as Fifa vice chairperson is expected to bolster Park's presidential hopes.

The Seoul mayorship is widely seen as a stepping stone to the presidency after former mayor Lee Myung-Bak was elected president in 2002 thanks to his career as the top administrator of Metropolitan Seoul.

Up for grabs in the 4 June elections are 17 provincial governor and metropolitan mayoral posts, 789 city council seats, 226 local administrator posts, 2 898 local council seats and 17 education superintendents.
Read more on:    park geun-hye  |  south korea  |  ferry disaster
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 

Red Bull Lionheart trail run - not for the fainthearted!

Entries are open, so what are you waiting for?

 
 

Where were you when you last felt alive?

Adventure holidays for your bucket list
Top 10 water sports to try before you die
6 impressive camping tips
LOL! The 8 stages of marathon running

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Save up to R1000 on Hisense smartphones!

View the large range of Hisense smartphones. Buy today and save up to R1000!

Deal of the week!

Save R1200 on the Samsung 48” smart full HD LED television now only R8799. Buy now!

Toys 4 for the price of 3

Buy 4 toys and get the cheapest FREE! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mind blowing prices – As seen on TV

Get mind blowing prices on 1000’s of products! Shop now.

Save 20% on Nivea beauty products!

Buy any two Nivea beauty products and save 20%. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

There is an easy social flow and the need to blend in, yet you may not feel entirely comfortable. Something beneath the surface...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.