In one of the most heated elections for the National Assembly, former presidential spokesperson Go Min-jung of the ruling party clinched victory in Seoul’s Gwangjin B precinct over an opposition heavyweight figure, election results showed Thursday.
The ruling Democratic Party of Korea’s Go, who joined the administration after her time as a TV presenter, narrowly defeated former Seoul Mayor and one-time lawmaker Oh Se-hoon with 54,210 votes, or 50.3 percent, according to the National Election Commission.
The constituency emerged as a closely watched neck-and-neck race after the conservative United Future Party fielded Oh, who has widely been perceived as a presidential hopeful, to run in a constituency regarded as a liberal stronghold, where current Justice Minister Choo Mi-ae was elected five times.
In response, the ruling party put forward Go, a widely recognized figure though a novice in electoral affairs.
As her victory became clear after 4 a.m. Thursday morning, Go gave a subdued speech surrounded by her spouse, campaign staffers and supporters at her campaign office.
“It was a difficult battle and there were many tough situations. But I am grateful for the many people who held my hand until the last moment,” Go said.
“Most of all, I am glad to have a large number of fellow lawmakers nationwide whom I can share the same goal with.”
In the fierce competition for the constituency, Oh reported his rival to the election watchdog for violation of election law.
On the night before Election Day, Oh’s office disclosed that it had requested the prosecution look into Go. The ruling party candidate’s camp denied the accusation, questioning her rival’s intention behind revealing the move just before polls opened.
Meanwhile, Oh delivered his gratitude to supporters in a social media post and said he would “reset to a clean slate and carry on and on.”
By Kim Bo-gyung (firstname.lastname@example.org