Election preparations underway in South Korea

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Seoul, March 28 (IANS) Preparations were underway on Monday in South Korea for next month’s parliamentary elections, following an announcement that the 13-day official campaign period will begin this week.

National Election Commission workers loaded ballot boxes onto a ferry in the coastal city of Incheon, bound for the northernmost “frontline” island of Baengnyeong ahead of the April 13 vote, EFE news reported.

Rival parties will kick off their official campaigns for the election on Thursday to decide on a total of 300 lawmakers for four-year terms.

The ruling Saenuri Party has vowed to seek a clear-cut victory in the election, with its chief Kim Moo-sung pledging that it will win 180 of the total seats.

The main opposition Minjoo Party of Korea, meanwhile, is aiming to win about 130 seats, up from the 107 it currently holds, Yonhap news agency reported.

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The newly-created splinter People’s Party, which is aiming to reinvigorate politics in the country, is hoping to win 20 seats.

A total of 944 candidates – 844 men and 100 women – have registered to compete in the election for 253 seats.

The remaining 47 seats will be allocated to political parties per the number of votes they get overall under proportional representation, according to the National Election Commission.

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