Candidate registration for next month's local elections in South Korea has closed, with the competition ratio standing slightly higher than a record low ratio registered years earlier, the nation's election watchdog said Saturday.
For the June 13 elections, voters will cast ballots to pick 17 metropolitan mayors and provincial governors, as well as 226 heads of lower-level administrative units like cities and counties.
Votes will also be cast for posts of 824 metropolitan and provincial councilors, 2,927 in city, county and municipal district councils, and 12 parliamentary posts.
According to the National Election Commission (NEC), a total of 9,362 people filed their candidacies until Friday for the 4,028 posts up for grabs.
This represents a competition ratio of 2.32 to 1. The ratio is slightly higher than a record low of 2.28 to 1 recorded in the 2014 local elections.
The Seoul mayoral race will be hotly contested as nine people are running for the post. For the mayoral post in Busan, the second-largest city in the country, five applied to run, according to the NEC.
For the by-election also to be held on the same day to fill the void of 12 parliamentary posts, a total of 46 candidates will compete, the NEC said.
The NEC said 86 candidates will automatically get their seats with a "walkover" victory as they had no other contestants running for their posts. Among the already elected, 30 of them were candidates for city, county and municipal district council seats.
By party, the ruling Democratic Party had 44 walkover winners, followed by the Liberty Korea Party with 38.
The results of the elections, the first to be held nationwide since President Moon Jae-in's inauguration in May last year, are expected to serve as a crucial litmus test of public sentiment toward the government.
Moon took office in an unprecedented by-election held to fill the vacancy of the presidency caused by the impeachment of Park Geun-hye over corruption charges.
The candidates are set to launch an official campaign Thursday. (Yonhap)
Lee Sam-sun firstname.lastname@example.org
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