South Korea's ruling conservatives win big in local elections
Lee Jun-seok (2nd R), head of the ruling People Power Party, speaks during a meeting of the party's leadership at the National Assembly in Seoul, one day after the party's overwhelming victory in the local elections the previous day. -/YNA/dpa
Lee Jun-seok (2nd R), head of the ruling People Power Party, speaks during a meeting of the party's leadership at the National Assembly in Seoul, one day after the party's overwhelming victory in the local elections the previous day. -/YNA/dpa

South Korea's conservative People's Power Party (PPP) has emerged as a clear winner in the country's local and regional elections.

According to the results of Wednesday's elections available on Thursday, President Yoon Suk Yeol's party won 12 of 17 key mayoral and provincial governor posts. In the capital Seoul, the incumbent mayor Oh Se Hoon of the PPP was re-elected.

The PPP's victory in the local elections should help the new president to implement his political plans. The former prosecutor took office on May 10 after his narrow victory in the presidential election in March, in which he was the opposition candidate.

The centre-left Democratic Party still holds a majority of seats in the National Assembly. In the local elections, however, it won only five of the most important races, including the governorship in the most populous province, Gyeonggi. It won a landslide in the local elections in June 2018 and also won the parliamentary election two years ago.

In parliamentary by-elections held simultaneously on Wednesday to fill seven vacant seats in the National Assembly, the PPP won five seats, with the Democratic Party winning two.

According to the State Election Commission, voter turnout on Wednesday was 50.9%. This was the second-lowest figure in local elections. In all, 44.3 million citizens were called to vote.

Kim Tae-heum (L) of the ruling People Power Party and his wife, Lee Mi-sook, celebrate after winning the South Chungcheong gubernatorial election. -/YNA/dpa
South Korean Presidential spokesperson Kang In-sun (C) gives a briefing on President Yoon Suk-yeol's remarks on the ruling People Power Party's overwhelming victory in the 01 June local elections, at the presidential office in Seoul. Yoon was quoted as saying that he takes the election results as "people's call to revive the economy." -/YNA/dpa