Ruling party loses seats in local elections

June 2, 2010, midnight

President LEE Myung-bak's Grand National Party (GNP) lost half its posts in local governments in elections on Tuesday. The GNP captured six mayoral and governors posts, while the opposition Democratic Party (DP) won seven. The elections took place during a tense period in Korean politics. On March 26, forty-six South Korean sailors aboard the Cheonan vessel died in an alleged North Korean torpedo attack. LEE has cut all ties with the North, which denies its involvement in the incident. According to BBC analysts, the election results repudiate LEE's tough stance on Pyongyang. In total, South Koreans voted for 4,000 mayors, governors and local government representatives. Turnout was the highest it has been for local elections in 15 years.

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