Candidates Running In Key Districts of Seoul, BusanUpdated: 2012-03-30 (KST)
It's that time of the year again, when you see trucks crowned with loudspeakers, campaign banners hung in the streets and rivers of text messages and calls, all asking you to vote, for THEM.
And with less than two weeks until the April general elections here in Korea, there are some local races to keep an eye on.
First off is Seoul's Jongno district, considered a barometer of public sentiment because of its long political history.
This is where former Democratic Party leader Chung Sye-kyun, and the ruling Saenuri Party lawmaker, Hong Sa-duk will run against each other on April 11th.
Ruling party candidate Hong has pledged to extend the Sin Bundang Line to the area near Gyeongbok Palace in Jongno.
The line currently connects Gangnam district with Bundang district in Seongnam city.
Chung, on the other hand pledged that, he will widen roads and make the district look more attractive.
And according to the latest joint opinion poll conducted by Korea Gallup, Embrain and Joongang Daily, it's a VERY close race, with Chung receiving 37.8 percent support, and Hong right behind with, 35.6 percent.
Now moving on to the Dongjak-B constituency in central Seoul, where the current head of Hyundai Heavy Industries and Shipbuilding, Chung Mong-joon of the ruling party, will compete against former CEO of Hyundai Capital and Hyundai Motor, Lee Kye-ahn of the main opposition party.
Chung has promised to devote his private assets, to launch development projects, while Lee has pledged to support traditional markets and independent businesses.
Latest opinion polls show, Chung ahead of Lee with 45.4 percent.
And over in Seoul's Gangnam-B constituency in southeast Seoul, two competing candidates, the Saenuri Party's Kim Jong-hoon and the DUP's Chung Dong-young have been running on different sides of the Korea, U.S. Free Trade Agreement issue.
Kim was the chief negotiator for the FTA, while Chung was a vocal critic of the deal during negotiations.
Over in the country's southern port city of Busan, a 27-year-old Son Su-jo of the Saenuri Party is running against, political heavyweight, Moon Jae-in of in the Sasang constituency.
Busan has long been considered a conservative stronghold, but has recently shown a swing in polls toward the opposition camp.
Polls show that Moon is well ahead of Son for now, with 53.4 percent support.
Aside from these key battles, pundits say that candidates running as independents could become the key variable in determining who will win in races that are expected to be closely contested.
Lee Ji-yoon, Arirang News.
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