|▲President Yoon Seok-yeol (Source: JOONGANG SUNDAY)|
After 5 years, the 20th Presidential Election came around. The election is held on the first Wednesday, 70days before the termination of the President in Office, therefore this year, it was on March 9th. The total of percentage of the turnout was 77.1%; 0.1% less than the last election. However, given the variables of the increase in voters by lowering the voting age to 18 and the confirmed cases of COVID-19, the level of interest is high, as much as the previous election.
14 Candidates ran for President, among them, there was a heated contest between Lee Jae-myeong of the Democratic Party of Korea, No. 1, and Yoon Seok-yeol of the People Power Party, No.2. The counting has begun with opening the ballot box votes in advance. In the beginning of counting, Candidate Lee prevailed, but as the main ballot box was counted, Candidate Yoon’s share of votes rose, and the situation became tied. However, in the end, candidate Yoon turned the tables with 50.9% of the counted votes. After that, without Candidate Lee’s reversal, the ballot-counting finished by a margin of 247,077 votes. Candidate Yoon was elected President with 48.56% of the votes, while Candidate Lee received 47.83% of them.
President Yoon promised the nation to bring changes in many fields of Korea. He mentioned three things as problems Korea currently faces: the Covid-19 situation, the polarization of low-growth and low-birth rates, and the crisis of liberal democracy in the market economy. Therefore, President Yoon said that, “We should take advantage of the COVID-19 crisis as an opportunity to leap into an advanced country.” He said he will form a, ‘Post-COVID committee,’ to redeem vulnerabilities of our society revealed by COVID-19 and preemptively respond to the pandemic crisis. Additionally, by introducing a, ‘nation’s responsibilities system of essential medical,’ even if a larger medical disaster strikes, everyone will be able to receive treatment without a gap in service.
In addition, he promised to actively rescue the small business owners at the end of their ropes by the introduction of a, ‘rent sharing system:’ rents are divided by one-third by lessors, tenants, and the government. As a solution to overcome the polarization of low-growth and low-birth rates, he insisted on introducing a, ‘parent benefit,’ to support the people who want to have children, by paying them a regular benefit of 1 million won per month, for a year after a child is born. That is, the government’s responsibility is strengthened from preparation for birth and postnatal care to aid in the nurturing of children. Finally, President Yoon promised effective conversion of energy for a future generation. The commitment is to make nuclear power plants safer with a, ‘30-year plan to convert carbon-neutral energy,’ and to make Korea a leading country in the field by actively participating in global cooperation and competition for climate energy technology for the development of decarbonization technology.
Furthermore, he proposed that there will be an amendment in the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family, by raising the soldiers’ pay to 2 million per month, the withdrawal of unscientific vaccine passes, intensification of punishment for sex crimes and false accusations, creating sustainable and good jobs, the supply of more than 2.5 million houses to meet demand, and the simplification of university entrance examination systems. In the case of Gyeongsangnam-do, where Changwon National University is located, he promised to intensively foster the aerospace industry of Gyeongnam, train professional manpower and create jobs for young people in connection with local universities. You can see more detailed pledges at https://www.wikiyoon.com/
Through this Presidential Election, the fourth turnover of power took place in five years since democratization in 1987. According to a public opinion poll about the transfer of power conducted by the Korea Society Opinion Institute, 47.6% of respondents said, “The Opposition Candidate should be elected to judge the current government’s operations,” and 41.2% of them said, “The Ruling Party Candidate should be elected for stable government operation and continuity.” Thus, the number of people who had hoped for a turnover of political power was higher. As candidate Yoon Seok-yeol became president and the regime changed as the people wished, he should take responsibility for the development, leap forward, and solidify the future of the Republic of Korea.
By Oh Sang-hwa, cub-reporter firstname.lastname@example.org
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