South Koreans participate in election considered as a crucial test for President Yoon Suk-yeol | Election Updates

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South Korean voters are expressing dissatisfaction with Yoon’s leadership by potentially punishing the ruling conservative party at the ballot box. The parliamentary elections are seen as a referendum on President Yoon Suk-yeol, with frustrations over the cost of living and corruption playing a significant role.

Polling stations opened early in the morning and will remain open until late in the evening in South Korea. Citizens are casting their votes to determine the members of the 300-seat National Assembly, with 254 seats decided through direct votes in local districts and the remaining 46 allocated based on party support.

In Seoul’s Gwangjin District, voters lined up to verify their identity and receive ballot papers before entering the voting booths. Opinions polls show a mixed response, with close races in approximately 50 to 55 districts making predictions difficult.

President Yoon’s government has faced criticism for not fulfilling promises to stabilize prices and improve livelihoods, contributing to negative sentiments among voters. The opposition Democratic Party has accused Yoon of mismanaging the economy and failing to address inflation, while the conservative People Power Party leader Han Dong-hoon warns of a crisis if the DP gains a significant victory due to corruption allegations against their leader, Lee Jae-myung.

Despite challenges and controversies, the emergence of liberal party Rebuilding Korea, led by former Justice Minister Cho Kuk, poses a new dynamic in the elections. Cho aims to diminish Yoon’s influence and has garnered support despite facing corruption charges himself.

While Yoon may benefit from older conservative voters, younger generations are disenchanted with a political system dominated by older men and are facing economic difficulties. The outcome of the elections could result in a political deadlock if opposition parties secure a substantial number of seats, according to analysts.

Exit polls are expected to provide insights into the election results later in the evening.

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