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(LEAD) Ruling party expected to win more than majority of parliamentary seats: exit polls

All News 19:03 April 15, 2020

(ATTN: REWRITES headline, lead; UPDATES with details about exit polls throughout)

SEOUL, April 15 (Yonhap) -- The ruling Democratic Party (DP) and its affiliated party are expected to secure more than a majority of parliamentary seats in Wednesday's general elections, exit polls showed.

The DP and the Platform Party, a satellite sister party that only targets proportional representation (PR) seats, are expected to win 155-178 seats in the 300-member National Assembly, according to the poll by South Korea's public broadcaster KBS.

The main opposition United Future Party (UFP) and its affiliated Future Korea Party are likely to win 107-130 seats.

Another poll by MBC showed the ruling bloc winning 153-170 seats against the UFP and its sister party's 116-133 slots. An SBS poll forecast the DP and the Platform Party winning 153-177 seats and their main rivals holding 107-131 seats.

South Korea held the quadrennial parliamentary elections earlier in the day to fill the 300-seat unicameral National Assembly -- with 253 directly contested seats and 47 PR slots.

The elections, widely viewed as a referendum on liberal President Moon Jae-in, were conducted amid an unprecedented coronavirus pandemic.

The ruling party was widely expected to win the polls on the back of positive assessment of the government's handling of the COVID-19 crisis.

Former Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon of the DP is forecast to win 53 percent of the vote against Hwang Kyo-ahn, chief of the UFP, with 44.8 percent in the Jongno district in central Seoul, according to the exit polls.

A high-profile race has unfolded between Lee and Hwang in Jongno, a symbolic constituency in Korean politics, as they are viewed as potential presidential candidates.

A voter casts ballots in parliamentary elections at a polling station in Hwacheon County in Gangwon Province on April 15, 2020. (Yonhap)


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