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Parties scramble for last-minute campaigns on eve of Seoul, Busan mayoral by-elections

All News 10:48 April 06, 2021

SEOUL, April 6 (Yonhap) -- On the eve of the April 7 Seoul and Busan mayoral by-elections, rival parties scrambled to make final appeals to voters in the country's two biggest cities Tuesday.

Voting for the two mayoral seats and 19 other regional public posts is set to begin at 6 a.m. and last till 8 p.m. on Wednesday at 3,459 polling stations across the country in by-elections that are deemed harbingers of public opinions ahead of next year's presidential poll.

Leaders and candidates of the ruling Democratic Party (DP) and the main opposition People Power Party (PPP) were scheduled to crisscross the capital and the biggest port city in last-minute efforts to win voters Tuesday, the last day of the official 13-day campaign period for the elections.

These images provided by the National Assembly press corps show the Democratic Party's Seoul mayoral candidate Park Young-sun (L) and her rival from the People Power Party Oh Se-hoon rallying support in Seoul on April 5, 2021. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

Rep. Kim Tae-nyeon, acting DP chairman, was scheduled to host an online plenary party meeting from Busan to lend support to the party's Busan mayoral candidate Kim Young-choon, in the first leg of last-day campaigning.

In Seoul, Rep. Lee Nak-yon, the DP's election committee chairman, is scheduled to stop first at Gwanghwamun Square in central Seoul and move to eastern Seoul to rally support for the party's Seoul mayoral candidate Park Young-sun.

Kim will then join Lee and Park in Seoul in the evening to cover western Seoul.

The PPP chief Kim Chong-in, meanwhile, plans to rally support for the party's Seoul mayoral candidate Oh Se-hoon in Gangnam and Seocho Ward in southern Seoul, as well as Yongsan Ward, deemed traditional support bases for the conservative party.

In the evening, Kim will get together with Oh and floor leader Joo Ho-young, as well as other key party figures in the university district of Shinchon in western Seoul for the finale of their 13-day journey of election campaigning.

The opposition party's Busan mayoral candidate Park Heong-joon is also planning to crisscross the port city to make final appeals to voters.

Rough results of the elections are expected to start emerging around midnight Wednesday.

In Seoul, a total 8.4 million voters are eligible to cast ballots for the mayoral election, while Busan has slightly more than 2.9 million qualified voters.

The turnout rate for early voting for the by-elections reached 20.54 percent last week, a record high for any by-election.

The Democratic Party's Busan mayoral candidate Kim Young-choon (C) rallies support in Busan on April 3, 2021, alongside party leaders. (Yonhap)
Leaders of the main opposition People Power Party are on their way to a party meeting at the National Assembly on April 5, 2021. (Yonhap)

pbr@yna.co.kr
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