Lee Jae-myung dominates first "super week" of primary with 51.41% of votes

한겨레 입력 2021. 9. 13. 17:36
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The Gyeonggi Province governor swept the Democratic Party's first "super week" of regional primaries and the first electoral college vote, leading the pack by a 20.33-point margin in the cumulative vote tally
Candidates pose for photos at a joint speech session for the Democratic Party’s Gangwon Province primary vote in Wonju, Gangwon Province, on Sunday. From left to right, candidates Lee Jae-myung, Kim Du-kwan, Chung Sye-kyun, Lee Nak-yon and Choo Mi-ae can be seen waving. (Yonhap News)

Lee Jae-myung, the presidential front-runner for South Korea’s ruling Democratic Party, secured a majority of votes in the party’s first “super week” of primaries, with results announced on Sunday. Lee Jae-myung received a majority of the votes in primaries held in North and South Chungcheong Provinces, that held in Daegu-North Gyeongsang Province, and that in Gangwon Province.

The Gyeonggi Province governor also won the first vote by the party’s electoral college.

Results of the first electoral college vote were announced in Wonju, Gangwon Province, with Lee Jae-myung coming in first with 51.09% of the votes. Lee Nak-yon came in second at 31.45%, trailed by Choo Mi-ae with 11.67%, Chung Sye-kyun with 4.03%, Park Yong-jin with 1.16%, and Kim Du-kwan with 0.6%.

In the regional primary held in Gangwon Province on the same day, Lee Jae-myung easily defeated Lee Nak-yon by a margin of 55.36% to 27%. In the cumulative tally, which includes polls of delegates and voting members in North and South Chungcheong Province, Daegu-North Gyeongsang Province, and Gangwon Province, Lee Jae-myung held a 20.33-point advantage over Lee Nak-yon, at 51.41% to 31.08%.

Choo Mi-ae rose to third, at 11.35%, followed by Chung Sye-kyun at 4.27%, with Park Yong-jin (1.25%) and Kim Du-kwan (0.63%) rounding out the pack.

Candidate for the Democratic Party presidential primary, Gyeonggi Province Gov. Lee Jae-myung speaks at a joint speech session held in Daegu for the party’s Daegu-North Gyeongsang Province regional primary on Saturday. (Yonhap News)

Lee Jae-myung held a commanding majority of 54-55% in the regional primaries, excepting the Daegu-North Gyeongsang Province primary. But in the combined tally of the first electoral college vote, he held a razor-thin majority of just over 51%.

Of the 641,922 eligible electors, 496,672 took part in the first electoral college vote for a turnout rate of 77.37%. That was eight times the number of delegates and voting party members who have participated in the regional primaries thus far.

In the regional primaries, Lee Nak-yon received only 27% of the vote — less than half of Lee Jae-myung’s showing. But Lee Nak-yon narrowed the gap with the frontrunner in the electoral college vote by securing 31% of the ballots.

When reporters suggested that the turnout in the first electoral college vote had been lower than expected, Lee Jae-myung said he hadn’t heard anything of the sort. “I’m grateful that my majority was greater than expected,” he said.

Regarding the vote, Lee Nak-yon said, “I think that the electors are putting more thought into how we can achieve a definite victory in the presidential election. That has given me hope. I think that public sentiment has started to change.”

The Democratic Party will be holding regional primaries in Gwangju and South Jeolla Province on Sept. 25 and in North Jeolla Province on Sept. 26, shortly after the long holiday for Chuseok. The party will announce the results of the second electoral college vote in Incheon on Oct. 3 and the results of the third electoral college vote in Seoul on Oct. 10.

If no candidate emerges with an outright majority after the regional primaries and electoral college polls are over, the final candidate will be decided in a runoff vote within five days.

By Seo Young-ji, staff reporter

Please direct questions or comments to [english@hani.co.kr]

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