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South Korean voters criticize Yoon’s governing style; An independent approach to difficult issues can cost votes


AP
Voters in traditional attire pose for a photo as they vote in the parliamentary elections in Nonsan, South Korea, on Wednesday.

SEOUL – The main reason why the People Power Party (PPP), South Korea’s conservative ruling party, suffered defeat in the general election was the way the president exercised leadership.

Regarding the issue of lawsuits against former wartime workers from the Korean Peninsula, which is a pending issue in Japan-South Korea relations, President Yoon Suk Yeol announced in March last year a solution in which the Japanese side is not obliged to pay compensation. despite public opposition.

Yoon tends to move on when he thinks it’s the right thing to do, disregarding public sentiment. This is believed to be influenced by his background as a prosecutor.

These types of actions by Yoon were seen as one-sided by many voters, and he was regarded as a leader who cannot communicate with the people.

Last month, Yoon appointed former Defense Minister Lee Jong-sup as South Korean ambassador to Australia as Lee faced allegations of abuse of power. Yoon is said to have done this despite opposition within his own party. It led to a decline in support for the PPP in areas such as metropolitan regions with many swing voters, which may have determined the outcome of the election.

On the issue of a conflict with the medical community over the government’s plan to increase the number of students admitted to medical schools, the President met for the first time with a representative of doctors. represent an important compromise. The meeting did not lead to a change in the electoral situation, discouraging PPP officials and others.

For opposition parties, which have called for a harsh verdict on the Yoon government, the president was an easy target.

The words “judgment” and “Yoon Suk Yeol” were often used in the speeches of Lee Jae-myung, the leader of the Democratic Party, South Korea’s main left-wing opposition party, according to an analysis by JoongAng Ilbo, an influential newspaper in the country. The name of Han Dong-hoon, the chairman of the PPP’s emergency committee, who enjoys popularity, did not appear in any of Lee’s speeches.

Opposition parties are expected to force a vote on a bill that would put pressure on the government to get to the bottom of stock manipulation and other allegations against first lady Kim Keon Hee. Yoon is expected to use his veto to prevent the bill’s passage, but that will likely reinforce his image as a president who ignores the will of the people.

The Yoon administration has announced its own Indo-Pacific strategy, strengthening bilateral cooperation with Japan and trilateral cooperation with Japan and the United States to deter North Korea’s provocations. His foreign policy is not expected to falter, but opposition parties that criticize the government’s diplomacy with Japan as “pro-Japan” and “demeaning diplomacy” are likely to step up their campaign against the government and raise concerns about their impact on the public opinion.

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