South Korea's largest opposition Grand National Party (GNP) won a landslide victory in Wednesday's local elections for governors, mayors and councilors, as its candidates captured 12 of 16 key governor and mayor posts throughout the country.
In the race of Seoul mayor, which was regarded as the most important position in the local elections, GNP candidate Oh Se- hoon gained an overwhelming lead over the ruling Uri Party candidate Kang Kum-sil with 61 percent of the total eligible votes cast as of Wednesday midnight. Kang got 26.9 percent of the votes.
The Uri Party managed to secure only the governorship of North Jeolla Province, which is Uri Party Chairman Chung Dong-young's birthplace and the traditional powerbase of the party.
Another minor opposition Democratic Party (DP) won the Kwangju mayoral and South Jeolla governor posts.
Kim Tae-hwan, an independent candidate, was reelected to the governor of the Southern island province of Jeju.
Following the election, Chung Dong-young said his party "humbly accepts the public sentiment shown in the votes."
"As the party chairman who led the election (campaigning) I feel fully responsible," he said.
Former Prime Minister Goh Kun, also a hopeful candidate for next year's presidential election, said "the election results should be seen as the ruling party's complete defeat, rather than as a GNP victory."
The voter turnout of Wednesday's elections was estimated at 51. 3 percent, 2.4 percentage higher than 48.9 percent of the previous elections in 2002, the National Election Commission (NEC) said.