Unexpected election win for South Korea′s ruling party | News | DW | 12.04.2012
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Unexpected election win for South Korea's ruling party

South Korea's conservative ruling party has retained control of parliament in Wednesday's tightly-fought election. In a key indicator for this year's presidential vote, the New Frontier Party posted a surprise victory.

South Korea's ruling party posted a surprise victory on Wednesday in a closely-contested parliamentary election.

Winning 152 seats in the 300-seat National Assembly the conservative New Frontier Party retained their control of parliament.

"People made wise choices," President Lee Myung-Bak said in a statement. "The government will do its best to manage state affairs in a stable manner and take care of the people's livelihood," Lee added.

Opposition fails to deliver

The opposition Democratic United Party, meanwhile, increased their share of 89 seats in the outgoing parliament to 127. But despite narrowing the ruling party's majority in parliament, the DUP failed to live up to earlier opinion poll results which suggested they would be clear winners in Wednesday's election.

"The DUP failed to turn public calls for punishing the... ruling party into reality. We apologize for disappointing (supporters)," DUP secretary general Park Sun-Sook told reporters.

"We will sincerely think over what today's election means and try ceaselessly to be reborn as a party the people can lean and rely on."

South Korea's leftist opposition Unified Progressive Party took 13 seats while five seats went to the right-wing Liberty Forward Party.

The election is largely seen as a key test of public sentiment ahead of a presidential vote in December when voters choose a successor to President Lee Myung-Bak. It is the first time in two decades that both elections are being held in the same year.

ccp/slk (dpa, AFP)