GNP Keeps its Majority, ULD Makes Weak Showing At Polls

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GNP Keeps its Majority, ULD Makes Weak Showing At Polls

The outcome for the nation's sixteenth general election finds the Grand National Party(GNP) holding on to its house majority with its victory in the two Kyongsang provinces.

The GNP won in 112 electoral districts out of a total 227 nationwide. The nation's polls were closed yesterday at 6:00 p.m. with the official ballot-counting done through the night. The Millennium Democratic Party (MDP) won 96 seats while the United Liberal Democrats (ULD) won a mere 12 ridings.

Making up the rear, the 'New Korean Party of the Hope'(NKPH) and the 'Democratic People's Party'(DPP) won one electoral district each, while independent candidates won 5 congressional seats.

Of all ballots cast, the GNP received 39.0 percent of total votes cast, the MDP 35.9 percent. The ULD and the DPP had 9.8 and 3.7 percent respectively. The 'Korea Youth Progress Party' won 0.7 percent of the total votes, and the NKPH won 0.41 percent.

So, election results find the GNP holding 133 seats compared to the MDP's 115 seats. The opposition sections on congress will see the ULD taking 17 seats, the DPP with 2 and the NKPH with one seat. Also joining the opposition are the independent candidates who succeeded in winning 5 seats. The GNP and MPD are now the two major political parties to come out of this year's elections.

The GNP saw landslide victories winning 64 out of the total 65 ridings in the Kyongsang provinces, among which are the large ridings in Pusan, Taegu and Ulsan. Moreover, the GNP succeeded in 40 of the 97 seats in the Seoul metropolitan area including Seoul itself, Inchon and Kyonggi Province, exceeding all predictions.

The reason for the GNP win has been attributedto overwhelming voter support in the Kyongsang Provinces for the GNP and in reaction to what is being seen as the politcal manoeuvring by the President (i.e. his party, the MDP) of the South-North summit.

The MDP, in contrast, obtained 56 of the Metropolitan Seoul ridings, as well as 5 in Kangwon and 8 in the Chungchong area. The President's party also won 2 seats from the island of Cheju. However, the MDP failed to sweep the Cholla Provinces with 4 seats going to independent candidates. They were expected to take all 29 seats.

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