South Korean PM & Senior Officials Offer to Resign After Election Defeat

Following the ruling party’s crushing defeat in South Korea’s parliamentary elections earlier this month, the prime minister and several senior presidential officials offered to step down, the Associated Press reported.

The liberal opposition party won a landslide victory in the April 10 elections, prolonging their control of parliament through 2028 in a crushing blow to South Korea’s conservative president Yoon Suk Yeol.

Opposition control will likely hamstring Yoon’s domestic agenda and weaken his control of the ruling party in the final three years of his five-year term which ends in 2027.

According to President Yoon’s office, following the defeat, Prime Minister Han Duck-soo, along with every senior presidential advisor except those in charge of national security, offered to resign. However, it was unclear if President Yoon would accept their resignations.

After the elections, Yoon said he would honor the will of the people and focus on improving the country’s economy and reforming government affairs, according to Yoon’s chief of staff Lee Kwan-seop. Lee also told reporters that he was among those who offered to resign.

The head of the ruling People Power Party, Han Dong-hoon, said in a separate press conference that he was willing to take responsibility for the party’s defeat and step down. Han apologized on behalf of the ruling party and said that the people of South Korea had made it clear that the ruling party was not “good enough” to be their choice.

In the final tally of votes, South Korea’s main opposition party, the Democratic Party and its affiliated party won a total of 175 of the 300 seats in the National Assembly. Another liberal opposition party won 12 seats. Meanwhile, the ruling People Power Party and its affiliated party won just 108 seats.

The election enjoyed the highest voter turnout since 1992, with 67 percent of the country’s 44 million eligible voters casting a ballot.

The first session of the incoming parliament will begin on May 30.