Korea’s Presidential Election: A Change in 5 Years

Jenny Lee ’25

    South Korea’s 20th presidential election was held on March 9, 2022. The incumbent president, Moon Jae-in’s, 5 year term ended and a new president was to be elected. Moon’s political party, the Democratic Party of Korea (DPK), holds a non-negligible influence in South Korean politics, which is a reason why their loss was unpredictable. The 2022 election consisted mainly of a battle between two dominant parties, that in the end was won by Yoon Seok-Youl, a candidate of the People Power party.

    Yoon Suk-yeol, the president-elect of South Korea, was a former public prosecutor and lawyer. Suk-Yeol graduated from Seoul National University and will be inaugurated on May 2, 2022. His party, the People’s Power Party, originated from the party that Korea’s 18th president was affiliated with and represents itself with the color red. His party and the DPK have a long, ongoing history of rivalry. In fact, Yoon himself won the 20th election by just 0.78% higher than Lee Jae-Myung, the candidate of DPK. The conservative party has some differing views that do not coincide with those of DPK. However, some of Korea’s citizens are hopeful about the changes the new party will bring to the country.