Election security mattered for conservative President Yoon in South Korea

Analysis by WorldTribune Staff, April 10, 2024

While South Korea’s conservative President Yoon Suk-Yeol was intent on a secure election in Wednesday’s parliamentary vote to buttress his policies, his leftist opposition was eyeing enough seats “to give them the power to not only pass any laws they want, but also to change the constitution, override presidential vetoes, and impeach the president,” a report said.

Democratic Party of Korea leader Lee Jae-Myung, / Chosun Ilbo

An East Asian economic powerhouse, South Korea is far from the political fray in the United States. However, 28,500 U.S. troops are stationed there and the the nation faces an existential threat from communist North Korea which recently banned the word “unification” from school textbooks, entered into a strategic partnership with Russia and has unveiled an intermediate range ballistic missile with a hypersonic glide vehicle warhead.

Like its top ally the United States, the Republic of Korea is bedeviled by the increasingly intrusive communist China and a dedicated leftist network exercising dominant influence on its political, academic and media institutions.

Complaints in recent years by conservatives in both countries about election fraud and computerized voting tabulation systems have gone largely unreported by major corporate media.

“In the 2020 General Election, the Democratic Party of Korea predicted a whopping 180 seats, and indeed, it won 180 seats in a landslide election victory, which shocked the public,” Tara O wrote for East Asia Research Center on April 9. “It has been mired in an election fraud controversy, which still has not been resolved.”

She continued: “The 2020 election results gave the Democratic Party 3/5 majority, which meant it could pass any law it wanted without consulting other parties, except the constitution.”

Related: Unreported: Computerized voting in critical election again infuriates South Koreans, April 8, 2024

Exit polls on Wednesday show the opposition Democratic Party of Korea (DPK) securing as many as 200 seats in the 300-member National Assembly.

Last month, Park Ji-Won, a candidate for Haenam, Wando, and Jindo counties in South Jeolla Province, stated on CBS radio: “If the Democratic, Progressive, and Reform forces make a leap forward and win 200 seats, then it’s possible to impeach President Yoon.”

Observers say South Korea’s leftists behave much like those in the United States when it comes to impeaching a president, largely doing so on partisan grounds.

A minor progressive party led by former Justice Minister Cho Kuk, a close ally of leftist former President Moon Jae-In, “was on track to secure 12 to 14 seats, marking a notable debut in the first election since its launch in March,” the Korea Times reported.

“The recently formed party led by Cho Kuk, simply referred to as the Cho Kuk Dang (Cho Kuk Party) in Korean, which literally means ‘fatherland party,’ but is also a play on the party leader’s name,” Tara O wrote.

Cho vowed to launch a special counsel probe into Yoon and his wife Kim Keon-Hee as his party’s top priority in the Assembly.

Honor their memory: The ‘shot heard round the world’

Tara O added: “Cho Kuk, the party leader, was the former Senior Secretary to the President for Civil Affairs and Justice in Moon Jae-In’s administration, and then was appointed as Justice Minister, which lasted only about a month due to various corruption cases and other political scandals. In his student days, Cho Kuk was a member of the radical left Namhan Sahoe Juui Nodongja Dongmaeng or the Socialist Workers League of Korea (SWLK) under Sanomaeng, an organization dedicated to overthrowing the South Korean government. Due to a power struggle in the left-wing camp, Lee Jae-Myung, the current leader of the Democratic Party of Korea (DPK), did not nominate Cho Kuk and other former members of the DPK who served under Moon Jae-In (such as Im Jong-Seok) to run on the DPK’s ballot in 2024, and they created a separate political party.”

The final result of the elections will be confirmed Thursday morning, as the vote counting for proportional representation ballots should be completed manually due to the ballot papers being too long for automatic counting machines.

“I’ll watch the vote counting results until the end with a humble heart,” DPK Chairman Lee Jae-Myung said after the exit poll results were announced.

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