S. Korea President’s Party Loses Majority

S. Korea President’s Party Loses MajorityS. Korea President’s Party Loses Majority

The ruling party in South Korea has lost its majority in parliament after elections aimed at boosting its position, exit polls suggest.

Exit polls forecast the Saenuri party to retain a slight lead over opponents but not enough to secure a majority in the 300-member National Assembly.

Until now, Saenuri previously had only a slim majority in the assembly. It meant that President Park Geun-hye’s time in office had been hampered by legislative gridlock, BBC reported.

Park has been criticized over her handling of the economy, which has seen rising unemployment, particularly among the young, falling exports and high levels of household debt.

Polls ahead of the election suggested Park’s party was on course to secure a substantial majority of seats. But as the votes started coming in, South Korea’s public broadcaster KBS predicted that Saenuri would win between 121-143 seats while the main opposition Minju Party would secure between 101-123 seats.

The final results are expected to become clear by 1500 GMT, AFP reported.

Voters cast ballots at nearly 14,000 polling stations to elect 253 of the 300 lawmakers. The remaining 47 proportional representation seats are allocated to parties according to the numbers of votes they receive overall.