As the October 11 by-election for the head of Gangseo-gu in Seoul approaches in 15 days, the movements of the ruling and opposition parties are accelerating.
On the 26th, People Power Party representative Kim Ki-hyeon held an election preparation meeting at the election office of Gangseo-gu mayor candidate Kim Tae-woo in Gangseo-gu, Seoul and said, “The ruling party’s People Power Party will create ‘stormy development’ in Gangseo-gu together with Kim Tae-woo.”
Representative Kim then awarded letters of appointment as standing advisors to the campaign committee to lawmakers Kwon Young-se and Ahn Cheol-soo and former lawmaker Na Kyung-won. Five-term lawmakers Jeong Woo-taek and Jeong Jin-seok, who joined as honorary election committee chairs, also received letters of appointment. As many as five mid-level people are now active in the district mayor’s campaign committee.
The Democratic Party of Korea, which reorganized its leadership through the election of floor leader Hong Ik-pyo on this day, plans to begin supporting Jin Kyo-hoon, Gangseo-gu mayor, in earnest from the 27th. At the same time, the ruling party’s campaign committee was at a mammoth level. Spokesperson Kang Seon-woo said, “The (election committee) ruling party members are nothing more than cannon fodder trying to justify the nomination of the wrong candidate Kim.”
The fact that the election war caught fire so quickly has a lot to do with the fact that there is only about a week left in the actual election campaign period. An official from the ruling party said, “There are 15 days left until election day on October 11, but excluding the Chuseok holiday, Hangeul Day holiday, and weekends when many voters go out, the actual election period is about 6 days,” adding, “We are doing our best for a short-term campaign.”
① “If voter turnout is high, it is advantageous”
vs. “It is difficult to predict the outcome when conservatives gather together.”The ruling and opposition parties believe that voter turnout in this by-election is a variable that will determine the outcome. In general, by-elections attract less voter interest and the election day is Wednesday, a weekday, so voter turnout is expected to be lower than the 51.7% during the Gangseo-gu mayor election in June last year. However, since this is an election of great political interest, it is difficult to rule out the possibility that voter turnout will be high. Bae Cheol-ho, senior expert at Realmeter, said, “Gangseo-gu has many opposition supporters, so if voter turnout is high, the opposition candidate may have an advantage. However, if the ruling party draws many conservatives to the polls, it will be difficult to predict the outcome.”
To this end, the ruling party is actively targeting the elderly and small business owners, who have many conservative voters. All 111 members of the People’s Power Party decided to form groups in each district of Gangseo-gu and campaign in support. Yoo Sang-beom, Chief Spokesperson of the People’s Power, said on MBC radio that day, “As the People’s Power Party is inferior in organizational power in Gangseo-gu, it will not be able to rely on local residents’ votes. “We are doing our best to increase interest in it,” he said.
On the other hand, the Democratic Party’s three members of the National Assembly from Gangseo-gu (Han Jeong-ae, Jin Seong-jun, and Kang Seon-woo) are stepping forward to rally an organizational ticket. In addition, the strategy is to embrace the middle class through customized pledges by region and age group. A Democratic Party official expected, “The Democratic Party’s organizational votes in Gangseo-gu are in the tens of thousands, so if we get them to the polls, we will be able to win.”
② ‘Seok-Yeol Yoon vs. Jae-Myung Lee’ proxy battleThe proxy war between President Yoon Seok-yeol and Democratic Party leader Lee Jae-myung, which deepens as the election day approaches, is also a point to watch. Both the ruling and opposition parties are actively criticizing their opponents, including President Yoon and Representative Lee. At the campaign committee meeting on the 26th, Candidate Kim Tae-woo sniped at Candidate Jin Kyo-hoon, calling him “a candidate nominated by Representative Lee, who is at the crossroads of redemption.” Candidate Jin criticized on MBC radio the previous day, “It is problematic that President Yoon pardoned candidate Kim just three months after he was confirmed guilty.”
The two also emphasize ‘Yoonsim’ and ‘Ishim’. While Candidate Kim presented himself as a ‘candidate who will develop the region according to his ethics’, Candidate Jin visited Representative Lee, who was hospitalized at Green Hospital due to fasting on the 22nd. At this event, Representative Lee supported candidate Jin, saying, “We must win this election so that the Yoon Seok-yeol government can reflect on its mistakes.”
Eom Gyeong-yeong, head of the Zeitgeist Research Institute, said, “As this election is a barometer for next year’s April 10 general election, the ‘government judgment theory’ and the ‘opposition party judgment theory’ are clashing strongly.” He added, “As the election approaches, the proxy war of ‘Yoon Seok-yeol vs. Lee Jae-myeong’ will become more severe.” “It was predicted.
③ChungcheongㆍHonam Community AssociationMeanwhile, attention is also focused on the actions of voters connected to Chungcheong and Honam, who account for the majority of the approximately 500,000 voters in Gangseo-gu. Rep. Kim Seong-tae토토사이트, chairman of the Gangseo-eul Party Council of the People Power Party, said in a phone call with the JoongAng Ilbo on the 26th, “Among the voters in Gangseo-gu, those with connections to Chungcheong will account for approximately 31%, and those with connections to Honam will account for approximately 33%,” adding, “The election outcome will be decided based on their votes.” “There is a high possibility,” he said.
There is an interpretation that the People Power Party’s appointment of Reps. Jeong Jin-seok (Gongju, Buyeo, Cheongyang) and Jeong Woo-taek (Cheongju Sangdang), who have constituencies in Chungcheong, as honorary election committee chairs was in consideration of Chungcheong votes. There is also speculation that it is for a similar reason that Rep. Ahn Cheol-soo, who previously served as a professor at Dankook University School of Medicine in Cheonan and KAIST in Daejeon, joined the campaign committee.
Then, the opposition party also started to capture public sentiment in Chungcheong and Honam, with Rep. Han Jeong-ae, from Danyang, North Chungcheong Province, and Rep. Jin Seong-jun, from Jeonju, Jeollabuk-do, taking the lead. A Democratic Party official expected, “If voters connected to the Honam region respond to the ‘government judgment theory’ and go to the polls in large numbers, the public sentiment in Chungcheong, which has been observing for a while, will also move.”