Tuesday (April 14th): Elections in South Korea

Jiwon Lee

Name? Jiwon Lee

Westphalian identity? South Korean

Age? Young

Why is she in the news? South Korea is holding parliamentary elections tomorrow despite Covid-19. Not a surprise given that the pandemic is largely under control in the country but also, especially decisive for election outcome.

Why do we care? An election during times of crises are always something to look out for. A month ago, President Moon’s Liberal party took a hard hit in the polls. But after the Korean response to Covid-19 has proven successful and been widely praised, there has been a 10 point gain in Moon’s approval ratings. Framing the election as a referendum on the government’s response to Covid-19 has only strengthened his support. 

Why should you care? Bare in mind that whoever comes out on top of this election will have a major impact on the negotiations between North and South Korea. Our dear friend Kim keeps on begging for attention by launching missile after missile. Oh, and women’s representation, you should care about that! 17% female deputies is not enough Korea, not enough. 

Who else cares? Jiwon Lee does! First on the list for the Women’s Party, she is trying to shed more light on issues concerning women in South Korea. Spy cam voyeurism epidemic, strict beauty standards and the decades-old ban on abortion are all issues of little importance in a patriachial Korea. Given that these issues seem of little importance to the Korean public, it is more likely for the Women’s Party to be powdered between the Liberals and the Conservatives. 

Any further comments? Covid-19 is not a reason to delay elections. Just in case any sitting President with authoritarian tendencies is thinking otherwise.

Joshua Dario Hasenstab

General Coordinator