A victory for the left in South Korea:
In a sharp political reaction against the impeachment of President Roh Moo Hyun, South Korean voters tripled the size of his parliamentary delegation on Thursday, ensuring liberal control of the legislature.
In a rout of conservatives who voted for impeachment a month ago, the pro-Roh Uri Party won 152 seats, a slim majority of the 299-seat, one-chamber National Assembly. The conservative Grand National Party lost its majority, falling to 121 seats, and the Millennium Democratic Party, once the second-largest party, won only 9 seats, according to news agency reports with 99 percent of the vote counted. A new left-wing party, the Democratic Labor Party, came in third, winning 10 seats, and smaller parties won 7 seats.
The Korea Times explores the significance of the DLP:
The DLP fell a bit short of the twenty seats needed to form a floor negotiating group, but has emerged as a new force and will clearly punch far above its weight in the new assembly when sessions begin at the end of May…The significance of its arrival on the national political scene comes from the signal it sends to the old school parties that build themselves around the strength of their leader. For decades, party activities revolved around one man and the regional ties he could command…
Kwon Young-ghil, the leader of the DLP, was instrumental in establishing the party but has since taken on a less central role as the party has based its organization around democratic structures and processes enshrined in a constitution that was built and decided upon by its membership.