Result from Ballot Accounting

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Result from Ballot Accounting

The outcome of the general election of April 13 will reshape the current political landscape into a system of two major, competing political parties. The results of this election will put the final nail in the coffin of the so-called "three Kims era" of Korean politics, the political structure that has dominated the nation since 1988.

Those who stand to lose the most from the results of the election are the Democratic People's Party (DPP) and the United Liberal Democrats. The DPP, a splinter party of the GNP, had a miserable showing, winning but three seats in the National Assembly. Apparently, the tacit support of former President Kim Young-sam doomed the renegade party. Meanwhile, the United Liberal Democrats (ULD), formerly a coalition partner of President Kim's MDP, which possessed 55 seats in the National Assembly, saw its support wither, even in its traditional stronghold of Chungchun. The ULD is expected to hold but 15 seats; effectively neutralizing them as a political power and ending the political career of former Prime Minister Kim Jong-pil. In that case, President Kim Dae-jung is the only surviving member three Kims.

With the disappearance of the three Kims political era, a new generation of political leaders will move to the forefront of the political scene. The political structure is expected to be re-organized, since both the Millenium Democrat Party (MDP) and the Grand National Party (GNP) failed to gain an outright majority in the National Assembly.

Therefore, President Kim is expected to attract winners of opposition parties and independent politicians, under the aegis of political stability and summit talks with North Korea, in order to obtain a majority of seats in the National Assembly.

President Kim is the clear winner of the election, his political standing will increase giving him the power to set the political agenda for the remainder of his term.

With the strong showing the MDP can claim that it represents the majority of Korean opinion. This should lead to a cease-fire in domestic politics, because the political power of Kim Jong-pil and Lee Hoi-chang will be weakened considerably.

Concerning Kim Jong-pil, he will reinforce his political struggle against the ruliing party, in an attempt to survive. President Kim may try to make a political alliance with Kim Jong-pil, but it will not be easy for Kim Jong-pil to become the MDP's political partner again.

As for Lee Hoi-chang, he will be seriously threatened by his rivals and even by Kim Young-sam. The winners in the GNP will be tempted to join the ruling party. If necessary, Lee will make a strategic alliance with Kim Jong-pil in order to retain some leverage, however small, in the National Assembly.

by Kim doo-woo

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