With early voting now complete, a shade under 37% of eligible voters have already voted in Korean Presidential election. This number is a full ten percentage points higher than the previous record and is even more significant as it occurred during the peak of the Omicron wave with nationwide cases topping 208,000 daily.
Today Choi Kyung Mi and Alex Jensen discuss the late merger of the conservative ticket, the major pledges of each party and the reasons behind the record early voter turnout.
The merger of the Yoon Seok Yeol ticket with the Ahn Cheol Soo ticket was announced last Thursday at a joint press conference. The lateness of the merger is problematic for a plethora of reasons. Firstly, the voting ballots have already been printed with Ahn listed as a separate candidate. Secondly, overseas voting had already commenced and 161,000 expat Koreans had already voted, any vote for Ahn is in essence wasted. But more than this is a sense of betrayal from Ahn supporters who have stayed with the candidate throughout the campaign, and now find themselves compelled to support a candidate they never intended to support. Ahn acknowledged this disappointment with a handwritten note posted on his Facebook page.
Before the poll blackout was imposed, candidates were still neck and neck. Will the merger put Yoon’s campaign over the line, or will there be enough disappointment at Ahn’s last minute machinations to swing the result towards Lee Jae Myung?
Today’s episode is made possible by the support of the Four Seasons Seoul. Providing stylish elegance in the very heart of the city.