In South Korea , the parliamentary election is proceeding relatively seamlessly so far — albeit with a lot of preparation and protocols in place to protect voters from the coronavirus
The outbreak has disrupted global political calendars, but the country’s early parliamentary voting so far has been smooth — and heavily regulated.
“This election is mainly about whether the government has dealt well with the coronavirus or not,” said Park Sung-min, head of Min Consulting, a political polling company. “The epidemic sidelined all the policy complaints about President Moon. Instead, people believe that his government has done quite well as they see the epidemic spiraling out of control in other countries.”
The number of newly confirmed cases in South Korea has fallen below 50 a day this week, down from a peak of 813 on Feb. 29. South Korea has confirmed 10,400 cases of the coronavirus, although 70 percent of them have recovered and been sent home.The country attributed the success to its ability to test large numbers of people to screen out patients quickly for isolation and treatment, along with its tireless public-heath campaign urging social distancing. It has banned outdoor political rallies and discouraged religious services. When schools reopened this week after a weekslong delay, they offered their classes only online.
South Korea has also managed to curb the epidemic without locking down cities as China and other countries did. In Seoul on Friday morning, subway cars were jam-packed with commuters. The country’s decision to ask millions of voters to vote reflects its determination to regain as much normalcy as it can, even though it acknowledges that its battle against the coronavirus is far from over.
“I always try to vote early to beat the crowd, but more so this year than before,” said Kim Hee-suk, 70, emerging from a voting station in Seoul on Friday.As the electoral and disease-control authorities prepared for the election, they took pains to protect the voting rights of 3,100 patients still infected with the virus.
The government first gave the patients the choice to vote by mail between March 23 and 28. After the voting-by-mail ended, election officials in full protective suits opened special voting stations in eight temporary shelters where many new patients have been held for isolation and treatment. More than 900 patients and medical personnel in those facilities can vote on Friday and Saturday.
But officials have yet to decide how to ensure the voting rights of an estimated 70,000 South Koreans who might be under a mandatory two-week quarantine when Wednesday’s vote takes place. At least six people have been indicted on charges of breaking the quarantine.
One option under discussion is for officials to escort them out of quarantine to vote in a specific time slot on Wednesday to minimize contact with other voters.“We are working on a guideline so that we can prevent infections while allowing these people to vote,” said Jung Eun-kyeong, head of the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Electioneering in South Korea is usually a festive affair, with young volunteers performing synchronized dances to draw voters’ attention. Vans with blaring loudspeakers and plastered with colorful posters weave through the streets.This year, the mood was somber. As part of disease-control guidelines, candidates were advised to wear masks and avoid rallies and handshakes. Volunteers with the campaigns swept streets with brooms and handed out fliers, instead of loudly chanting slogans.
South Korean campaigns typically revolve around issues like North Korea’s nuclear threat, the economy and corruption. But the virus has shifted the debate.Both Mr. Moon’s supporters and critics cite his response to the epidemic as the single biggest reason they supported or opposed him. Nearly 73 percent of voting-age Koreans said they wanted to vote, coronavirus or not, compared with 64 percent four years ago, when the country held its last parliamentary poll, according to a survey conducted by Gallup Korea on behalf of the National Election Commission.
Once criticized forunderestimatingthe threat of the coronavirus, Mr. Moon saw his political fortune rising when his government deployed diagnostic kits in large quantities and established drive- and walk-through testing stations around the country. Foreign leaders have called Mr. Moon in recent weeks asking South Korea for supplies of test kits and disease control know-how, according to his office.
His approval ratings rebounded to 56 percent last week from 41 percent in late January, according to Gallup Korea polls. His party zeroed in on the Moon government’s successful battle against the coronavirus, adopting the campaign slogan: “We protect the people!”
The opposition ascribed South Korea’s epidemic-control success not to the Moon government but to the efforts of doctors and nurses. Still, it too sought voters’ support by appealing to their deep sense of insecurity at a time of epidemic.“We can live only when we change the government!” read the main campaign slogan of the United Future Party, the chief rival of Mr. Moon’s party.
Frequently Asked Questions and AdviceUpdated April 4, 2020Should I wear a mask?
Read more: The New York Times
Very experienced, smart and solid country. VelGise NY TIMES is garbage Pay attention America 🇺🇸. Something to be learned here. All your votes will be needed in November to correct this flawed government of yours. Yes... it’s YOUR government... you hired it. Now fire it!
Coronavirus live updates: South Korea reports 39 new cases, the lowest daily increase since late February South Korea on Thursday reported 39 new cases of infection — the lowest number since late February. There were four deaths. Why do we give so much $$ to the WHO? why does it matter what they 'report'? why are you treating it like it's a serious/valid number?
South Korea is going through deep social, economic changeCovid-19 has put South Korea ’s impassioned debate about the clash between individual freedom and social obligation on hold I wrote a thesis on this very topic! But as it pertains to African women!! :)
South Korea presses on with an electionLegislative elections will go ahead as planned on April 15th despite the covid-19 pandemic Excellent! Wow look what happens when you have smart people running the country and smart people who can follow orders and such. I also bet no gloves were thrown on the floor when people left shopping. We are a disgrace in the modern world. If I was another country I’d would feel bad for us an euphemism to this would be to say: too bad they're surrounded by bays.
Exclusive: U.S. ambassador to South Korea is discussing plans to resign - sourcesU.S. Ambassador to South Korea Harry Harris has said privately that he does not plan to stay on beyond the November U.S. presidential election, regardless of whether President Donald Trump wins another term, five sources told Reuters. HeeShin Do it, you enabling pos. HeeShin 重回军界是吗？ HeeShin
South Korea is going through deep social, economic changeOnce South Korea emerges from the virus-induced slump, it needs to get back to looking for new sources of growth Invade China? teach America!! Yes ! Lubos
South Korea virus hotspot of Daegu sees no new casesThe city of Daegu, which had been the epicenter of South Korea ’s coronavirus outbreak, reported zero new cases for the first time in weeks Friday, as the national numbers of new cases continues to decline. It called good governance like China and new Zealand. But American tax payers r dying because of shortage of ventilators and other lake of basic medical facilities. Why America spend trillions dollor on weapons ? Tax payers money must b spend for health and education. 💝💝💝 In other news, there were two stupid Americans who consumed fish tank additive because it had “chloroquine” in it and idiots that defy and listen to a stay at home order to go to beaches. By the way, how them stimulus checks? Deep in them pockets I bet.