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2022 Presidential Elections in South Korea

Presidential elections were conducted in South Korea on the 9th of March 2022. Under the constitution of South Korea, presidents can only hold office for a single five-year term. Yoon Suk-yeol of the People Power Party won the election, and candidate Lee Jae-Myung of the Democratic Party had to face defeat. Yoon Suk-yeol has served as the prosecutor general of South Korea from 2019 to 2021 under President Moon Jae-in. He has played a major role in the conviction of former President Park Geun-Hye.

Both the parties, People Power Party as well as Democratic Party had unusually intense primary elections. Upon the nomination of Lee Jae-Myung who is the second-place Democratic Party candidate, Lee Nak-yon called for an appeal of the results, until he was forced to give it up.

Yoon, who won the most overall votes and the key areas of Seoul and its suburbs, in his first message as president-elect, said he “will solely trust people and follow the will of the people.” Yoon also said that his triumph is a desperate plea from the people for politics of unity, not division, a vote for reform and restoration of justice and common sense.

Yoon also promised to deliver a tough response to North Korea’s “illegal and unreasonable actions.” Giving way to the bilateral ties between North Korea and South Korea, President Yoon said, “I will…always keep the door open to inter-Korean dialogue.” In his victory speech, he offered a harmonious picture of all the South Koreans, promising to bring togetherness amongst the citizens: “The competition is over now, and everyone must make joint efforts to become one.”

After the triumphant achievement, Yoon had a phone call with U.S. President Joe Biden. Biden congratulated Yoon on his victory and expressed his expectations for close coordination and diplomatic ties with Yoon’s government and between the USA and South Korea. Biden and Yoon have agreed to arrange an in-person meeting as quickly as possible after Yoon takes office in May. This meeting looks promising to the diplomatic relations and growth in trade between the USA and South Korea. President Biden later tweeted, 

“I spoke today with President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol of the Republic of Korea to congratulate him on his election. I look forward to working with him to continue to strengthen the U.S.-ROK Alliance and take on shared global challenges.”