Yoon Suk-yeol elected as South Korea's Next President

Yoon Suk Yeol received 48.6 percent of the votes, while his Democratic rival Lee Jae-myung received 47.8 percent of the votes.

Created On: Mar 11, 2022 13:15 IST
Yoon Suk-yeol win South Korean Presidential Elections 2022
Yoon Suk-yeol win South Korean Presidential Elections 2022

Yoon Suk Yeol has been elected as South Korea's new President, after winning the South Korean Presidential Elections 2022. Yoon Suk Yeol, the conservative beat Democratic party's Lee Jae-myung in one of the most closely fought elections, with the final count separated by less than 1 percent vote. 

Yoon Suk Yeol received 48.6 percent of the votes, while his rival Lee Jae-myung received 47.8 percent of the votes. Yoon Suk Yeol called his win during his acceptance speech as a "victory of the great South Korean people". He further promised to honour the constitution, parliament and work in unity with opposition parties when he takes office.

Yoon Suk Yeol said that his top priority would be “national unity,” adding that all people should be treated equally regardless of their regional, political and socioeconomic differences. He promised to pay attention to people’s livelihoods and provide the necessary warm welfare services.

Yoon Suk Yeol is scheduled to be sworn in as the next President of South Korea in May 2022. He will serve for a term of five years. His democratic rival Lee, who is a former governor of Gyeonggi province, gracefully accepted his defeat and congratulated Yoon for his victory.

Election of the Unfavourables?

As per various reports, both the presidential candidates were widely unpopular throughout the campaign.  The local media in fact had dubbed the elections as the election of the unfavourables. Yet, there was a high turnout on the polling day, with 77 percent of eligible voters turning up to cast their votes. 

The top concerns of the South Korean people have been rising house prices, stagnant economic growth, unemployment among the youth and gender inequality. 

While South Korea has a Ministry of Gender Equality and Family, its work has been almost negligible when it comes to the promotion of equality for women. Yoon had pledged to abolish the Ministry if he comes to power. 

The South Korea Presidential Elections 2022 were fought hard in the most bitter way, with the candidates ripping down each other with more focus on mudslinging and personal attacks. Both had failed to present a clear strategy on how they would ease the threat from North Korea and its nuclear weapons. The voters were also skeptical about how they would handle international relations amid the US-China rivalry and address widening economic inequality.

Yoon had said in his campaigns that he would deal with North Korea and its provocations more sternly and attempt to boost trilateral security cooperation with Japan and the US.

He had also promised to make an enhanced alliance with the US centre of his foreign policy and be more assertive towards China. He had accused North Korean leader Kim Jong Un of trying to influence the results of the South Korean election in favour of his Democratic rival Lee after North's latest ballistic missile launch.

Lee had, on the other hand, called for greater reconciliation with North Korea and a diplomatic pragmatism amid the US-China faceoff.

Who is Yoon Suk Yeol?

Yoon Suk Yeol had previously served as prosecutor general of South Korea from 2019 to 2021 under South Korean President Moon Jae-in's regime. He had played a major role in the conviction of former President Park Geun-hye as the chief prosecutor of South Korea. 

Why did South Korean President Moon Jae-in not run for second term?

The incumbent South Korean President Moon Jae-in, could not seek reelection, as the nation's constitution limits a president to a single five-year term. Moon Jae-in had come to power in 2017 after the impeachment of  conservative President Park Geun-hye over a huge corruption scandal. 

Yoon Suk Yeol had been Moon Jae-in's prosecutor general but he resigned and joined the opposition party in 2021. 

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