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Ruling party wins 11 out of 12 by-elections

Democratic Party of Korea (DPK) Chairwoman Choo Mi-ae, center, and other party members cheer after watching exit poll results for the 7th local elections and by-elections at the National Assembly, Wednesday. The DPK won 11 of 12 by-elections. Korea Times photo by Shim Hyun-chul

By Park Ji-won

The ruling Democratic Party of Korea (DPK) swept 11 of 12 by-elections for empty National Assembly seats, according to vote counts by Thursday morning.

The by-elections were to fill positions vacated after former lawmakers stepped down to run in local elections or were stripped of their seats after being found guilty of law violations.

The DPK which had hopes for political gains in the first country-wide test of political opinion on the Moon Jae-in administration, won seats in 11 out of 12 districts. The DPK won in Songpa B (Choi Jae-seong) and Nowon C (Kim Seong-hwan) in Seoul; Nam-dong A (Maeng Seong-gyu) in Incheon; Cheonan A (Lee Gyu-hee) and C (Yoon Il-gyu) in South Chungcheong Province; Seo-gu A (Song Kap-seok) in Gwangju; Yeongam, Muan and Sinan (Seo Sam-seok) in South Jeolla Province; Haeundae B (Yoon Joon-ho) in Busan; Buk-gu (Lee Sang-heon) in Ulsan; and Gimhae B (Kim Jeong-ho) in South Gyeongsang Province.

The DPK's Lee Hoo-sam and the LKP's Um Tae-yong were contending within a margin of error in the Jecheon-Danyang district of North Chungcheong Province, although Lee was in the lead.

The main opposition Liberty Korea Party (LKP) won in Gimcheon (Song Eon-seok) in North Gyeongsang Province.

The seats of the ruling DPK will increase to 129 in the 300-member National Assembly, while the main opposition LKP will have 113 seats.