In the midst of the COVID-19 global outbreak, South Korea conducted legislative elections on 15 April 2020. The election saw the ruling party gaining a landslide victory, the reason behind which is widely believed to be President Moon Jae-in’s tremendous successes in containing the coronavirus. Democratic Party and its allies managed to win 180 seats out of 300 members of the National Assembly. United Future Party, the opposition in South Korea, was able to win not more than 103 in the 2020 legislative election that combines direct and proportional votes.
Role of COVID-19
Political pundits around the world see Moon’s party’s win in the legislative election as the result of the president’s efforts in fighting Coronavirus in South Korea. Many also think that the election win came as a major face-saver for Moon as he was facing serious pressure over power abuse scandals and poor show in economic development.
The country’s excellent and effective handling of the global crisis is being praised not only in South Korea but also in the world community. It was a major factor behind Moon’s approval rating boost in his country.
Former Prime Minister and Democratic Party campaign leader, Lee Nak-yon, said in a televised speech, “In line with the strict command the people gave us, we will put top priority on overcoming the national crisis of the coronavirus and economic declines.”
Diplomacy and national popularity of Moon
President Moon has become immensely popular in South Korea and among Southeast Asian nations, thanks to his brilliant Coronavirus diplomacy. He was engaged in bilateral phone calls with leaders of more than 20 countries regarding the pandemic outbreak. The country was one of the first in the world to take swift action against COVID-19 and also assure neighbouring states for greater cooperation. All these have been said to have boosted people’s confidence in his administration.