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D-6: Election Race Outside Capital Region Updated: 2012-04-05 12:00:00 KST

D-6: Election Race Outside Capital Region
The ruling Saenuri Party's traditional stronghold, the southeastern Gyeongsang region, has become one of the most closely contested political battlefields outside the capital area in this year's general election.
Although the ruling party is expected to maintain a majority in the region, about 10 out of a total of 67 seats up for grabs are too close to call with less than a week left until voters hit the polls.
The Sasang District in Busan is the most notable hotspot, where the Saenuri Party's 26-year-old Son Su-jo is running against the main opposition Democratic United Party's Moon Jae-in, who is highly anticipated to represent his party in December's presidential election.
Despite Saenuri emergency committee chairperson Park Geun-hye's support for Son, she trails Moon in the polls by over 20 percent.
The main opposition is looking to win at least two other seats in Busan.
Over in the main opposition's political bastion in the southwestern Jeolla region, a ruling party candidate, in the provincial heart of Gwangju is the one to watch.
In Gwangju's Seo-B District, the Saenuri Party's Lee Jung-hyun is leading the polls, raising hopes that Park Geun-hye's aide will become the party's first elected member in the region.
The main opposition Democratic United Party, meanwhile, is most likely to win all three seats on Jeju Island.
With the two major parties expected to keep a majority in their respective strongholds, they are eyeing additional seats in the central Chungcheong and eastern Gangwon regions.
Chungcheong favorite Liberty Forward Party is in for a battle against both the ruling and main opposition parties for a total 25 seats in the region, including one for the new administrative district of Sejong.
Polls currently place the DUP's Lee Hae-chan in the lead.
Moving east in Gangwon, the ruling and main opposition are expected to run a close race until D-day, especially in the districts of Chuncheon and Hongcheon-Hoengseong.
With the election outcome difficult to predict, analysts say swing voters will play a large role.
And with the investigation into an illegal surveillance scandal guiding the political narrative lately, experts say any number of things could happen on April 11th.
Choi You-sun, Arirang News.
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