Like we've heard in our previous reports, politicians in South Korea have officially begun their 13-day campaign period for the local and by-elections today.
17 city mayors and provincial governors posts are up for grabs at the June 1st elections.
The results of the elections are all the more significant as it could be a barometer of the Yoon administration's performance in the early stages of its power.
So what significance does the election have and what changes can we expect?
For this we are joined by AN Junseong, Visiting Professor / Yonsei University Graduate School of International Studies joining us online.
Good evening Professor.
1. The official campaigning for the local elections has kicked off, and the political parties are hoping to convince the public to vote for their candidates. Professor, what significance do the local elections have? Why are they so important?
2. Now Professor, we’ve had several elections now amid the pandemic, but now as much of the distancing rules have been eased, what do you expect to see in terms of voter turnout? I believe it has been rising in the most recent local elections right?
3. Which areas do you think are going to be most highly contested and which areas are you watching and why?
4. Are there any particular changes that will come out from this election? I understand some aspects of the electoral system are different this time, and that could benefit smaller parties.
5. Unlike presidential elections and the parliamentary elections, foreign residents can vote for their local councils. Since when did this policy come into effect, and who exactly is eligible to vote?
6. How could the results of the local elections influence the future political landscape in Korea?
7. Currently, the majority of seats in parliament are held by the Democratic Party, not President Yoon's party, and they hold most of the governor and mayor posts, too.
If Yoon's People Power Party could get some more seats this time, how could that help the administration pursue its policies?
8. Well it’s a different kind of power, but what exactly can local governments do on their own that doesn’t need parliament’s approval?
Alright we will have to wrap it there, best of luck to all candidates running, and thank you for your insights Professor.