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South Korea’s Parliament Election 2024: What You Need to Know

South Korea​ns go to the polls on April 10 to select a new 300-member National Assembly. The parliamentary elections are widely seen as a midterm referendum on President Yoon Suk Yeol. They will also serve as a vote of confidence on the opposition Democratic Party, which has held majority control in the Assembly for the past four years.

Mr. Yoon won the presidential election in March 2022 by a razor-thin margin, and three months later, his People Power Party won the most big-city mayor and provincial governor races. But two major handicaps have hobbled his presidency: his party’s lack of control in the single-chamber Assembly and Mr. Yoon’s low approval ratings.

​An electoral victory by his party could add momentum to Mr. Yoon’s four major reform programs involving the country’s health care, education, labor and national pension systems, as well as his promise to abolish the nation’s ministry of gender equality. Mr. Yoon will also see it as lending political legitimacy to his policy of aligning South Korea more closely with the United States.

But if the opposition scores a decisive win, it will further weaken Mr. Yoon’s leadership and may turn him into an early lame duck, political analysts say.

South Korea faces a host of issues with no easy solution: a slowing economy, runaway housing prices, a rapidly aging population, a widening income gap, a gender divide especially among its young generation and a growing nuclear and missile threat from North Korea.

But South Korea’s worsening political polarization means that practically every sensitive issue is seen through a partisan lens. And political analysts say that it also means that this election is run not on any sustained policy debate but more on stoking and playing to