SEOUL – South Korea’s ruling Democratic Party looked on Wednesday to sweep local elections in the country, an exit poll suggested.
A joint exit poll by three major TV broadcasters said President Moon Jae-in’s Democratic Party was winning 14 of the 17 metropolitan mayoral and gubernatorial posts being contested.
The main opposition Liberty Korea Party was expected to win just two seats according to the poll published by local news agency Yonhap after voting ended at 6 pm on Wednesday.
Simultaneously, by-elections were also held for 12 vacant seats of the National Assembly, where the DP is the biggest party. The poll showed it cornering 10 seats while the LKP could be limited to just one.
Official results of the elections, in which 42.9 million people had been registered to vote, are set to be announced in early hours of Thursday.
Recent opinion polls have shown high popularity ratings of above 70 percent for Moon and his party with 53 percent compared to the LKP’s 11 percent. This comes on the back of strong support for Moon’s push for peace on the Korean Peninsula.
Wednesday’s elections are being considered a referendum on the policies of the president, who assumed office last year.