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686 candidates sign up for April 10 parliamentary elections

By Yonhap

Published : March 22, 2024 - 21:59

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(Yonhap) (Yonhap)

A total of 686 candidates have registered for the April 10 parliamentary elections, the National Election Committee said Friday, setting the stage for a political showdown that could determine how the current administration will fare in its remaining three years in office.

Up for grabs in the elections are 300 National Assembly seats, 254 of them directly contested seats and 46 proportional representation seats.

The data, tentatively tallied at 7 p.m., showed that 38 parties applied for proportional representation seats. The actual number of parties competing in the election could possibly change following an evaluation by the election committee.

By party, the ruling People Power Party (PPP) had the most registered candidates at 252, followed by the main opposition Democratic Party (DP) with 244. A total of 56 candidates registered as independents.

Among electoral districts, the central Seoul ward of Jongno was expected to see the toughest competition with seven candidates registering for the race.

Official campaigning is set to kick off on March 28, lasting for 13 days, with limited forms of electioneering permitted before the official campaign period begins.

Overseas voting is scheduled from March 27 to April 1, while early voting will take place on April 5-6.

The PPP has called for voter support, saying the Yoon Suk Yeol administration has been unable to push its agenda forward for the past two years in the face of the opposition-controlled National Assembly.

The DP has urged voters to pass stern judgment on what it calls the "incompetent" administration, accusing it of causing the economy and the livelihoods of people to worsen seriously over the past two years.

Also drawing attention is how newly formed minor parties will fare, including the Korea Innovation Party led by disgraced former Justice Minister Cho Kuk, the New Reform Party led by former PPP leader Lee Jun-seok and the New Future Party (Saemirae) led by former Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon. (Yonhap)