For South Koreans, postponing elections is unimaginable because of their dark past. But little did they know that simply exercising their inalienable right to improve their lives would shine yet another spotlight on their country. The legislative elections proceeded despite a national health crisis while showing the world how to conduct them as safe as possible and how political candidates can secure votes. The results signaled the future state of affairs at home as well as the possible trajectory of the Korean Peninsula, the U.S.-South Korea alliance, and geopolitical relations in Northeast Asia.
In a landslide, progressive South Korean president Moon Jae-in’s ruling coalition scored the largest win in legislative elections since the country’s democratic transition in 1987 from decades of authoritarian rule. Moon’s Democratic Party and allied parties swept up 180 of 300 seats in the National Assembly in a new voting system that combined direct and proportional votes. Voter turnout recorded the highest level since 1992 of 66.2 percent. These elections also ushered in a new generation of lawmakers and a record-high number of elected women of fifty-seven, or 19 percent of all seats.
Read the full article in The National Interest.
More from CNAS
CommentarySharper: America's Alliances and Partnerships
Cooperation with allies and partners is vital for achieving U.S. foreign policy goals, especially with respect to global challenges, including the COVID-19 pandemic, the sprea...
By Carisa Nietsche, Jeff Cirillo, Chris Estep & Cole Stevens
ReportsRenew, Elevate, Modernize: A Blueprint for a 21st-Century U.S.-ROK Alliance Strategy
The U.S.-South Korean alliance has the potential to play a central role in bolstering a rules-based order in the Indo-Pacific region and beyond....
By Kristine Lee, Joshua Fitt & Coby Goldberg
China’s push to dominate digital infrastructure leaves liberal democratic countries at a critical juncture....
By Kristine Lee, Martijn Rasser, Joshua Fitt & Coby Goldberg
CommentaryTrump, Not Biden, Wrecked American Power in the Pacific
By any measurable indicator, America’s standing has been lower in Asia during Trump’s presidency than before it....
By Van Jackson & Hunter Marston