By Kevin Lee
Oh Se-hoon, the mayoral candidate of the main opposition People Power Party (PPP), has won the Seoul mayoral by-elections by a landslide against Park Young-sun of the ruling Democratic Party.
In the April 7 by-elections, Oh Se-hoon and Park Hyung-joon of the People Power Party were elected for Seoul mayor and Busan mayor, respectively, by an overwhelming margin. The ballot counting was completed around 3 a.m. on the same day.
According to the Central Election Commission on April 8, candidate Oh won 57.50% of the vote with a 100% vote count as of 3:13 a.m. on the same day. Park Young-sun of the main opposition Democratic Party won 39.18 percent. The gap between the two candidates is 18.32 percentage points.
In all 25 autonomous districts of Seoul, candidate Oh won. In Gangnam-gu, particularly, Oh received 73.54 percent of the vote, three times more than Park's 24.32 percent. Seocho-gu followed with 71.02 percent and Songpa-gu with 63.91 percent.
Candidate Huh Kyung-young of the National Revolutionary Party came next with 1.07 percent, followed by candidate Kim Jin-ah of the Women's Party with 0.68 percent, candidate Shin Ji-hye of the Basic Income Party with 0.48 percent, independent candidate Shin Ji-ye with 0.37 percent, candidate Song Myung-sook of the Progressive Party with 0.25 percent, candidate Lee Soo-bong of the Minsaeng Party with 0.23 percent, and candidate Oh Tae-yang of the Mirae Party with 0.13 percent.
In the Busan mayoral by-election, Park Hyung-joon of the People Power Party won 62.67% of the votes with a 100% vote count as of 2:47 a.m. Kim Young-chun of the ruling Democratic Party won 34.42 percent of the votes.
Chung Kyu-je of the Liberal Democratic Party came next with 1.06 percent, followed by Roh Jung-hyun of the Progressive Party with 0.85 percent and Sohn Sang-woo of the Mirae Party with 0.51 percent.
People Power Party's candidates were also elected in 12 by-elections for metropolitan and basic lawmakers. The Democratic Party's candidates were elected only in four districts in Jeolla Province.
An independent candidate was elected in the by-election of Uiryeong-gun, Gyeongsangnam-do.
The turnout was 58.2 percent in Seoul and 52.7 percent in Busan. This is the first time that the turnout of the by-elections for metropolitan government heads has exceeded 50 percent.
Oh Se-hoon, who was born on February 18, 1961, is a politician who served as the mayor of Seoul between 2006 and August 26, 2011. On June 3, 2010, Oh was reelected as the mayor of Seoul but resigned after losing a referendum on the Seoul Free Lunch Referendum.
Oh resigned two years before his term and had stayed in London as a fellow at the Graduate School of Social Science and Public Policy at King's College London, focusing on major cities around the world seeking ways to create jobs and help promote economic growth.
Oh graduated from Daeil High School and went on to Hankuk University of Foreign Studies. He graduated from Korea University's School of Law and became a lawyer. In 2000, Oh was elected as a member of the 16th National Assembly. He is Catholic and his baptism name is Stefano.