The ruling Saenuri Party's election management committee held its first meeting on Thursday to discuss its strategy for the upcoming local elections.
The committee's chairman Lee Wan-koo said campaigns under the Saenuri Party banner will be toned down this year, in light of the Sewol-ho ferry tragedy.
"The whole election process will focus on reinforcing the country's safety measures. Our election management committee will devise plans to help the families of Sewol-ho ferry disaster victims. Election campaigns will be carried out in the most humble way possible."
Candidates in the local races are registering this Thursday and Friday.
The incumbent mayor of Incheon, Song Young-gil of the main opposition New Politics Alliance for Democracy, was one of the first to show up at the National Election Commission
headquarters in Incheon on Thursday morning to make his candidacy official.
Saenuri Lawmaker Nam Kyung-pil resigned from his seat on Thursday and announced he was running for the governorship of Gyeonggi-do province.
All the candidates will be allowed to start campaigning next Thursday, on May 22nd.
For the first time in Korean local election history, people will be able to cast their ballots before voting day on June 4th.
Early voting will be held on May 30th and the 31st.
The outcome of the nationwide election is being regarded as a litmus test for the Park Geun-hye administration, which entered its second year in February.
"We will have to wait for the results on election day, to see which political party has earned the trust of the people to institute change.
Ji Myung-kil, Arirang News."