Tuesday, 21st May 2024

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Voters call on parties to embrace politics of harmony and coexistence

A voter casts a ballot at a polling station in Seoul's Yongsan District, Wednesday. Korea Times photo by Shim Hyun-chul

Voters participating in the general elections raised hopes for rival parties to stop slandering each other and, instead, collaborate to address the public’s disillusionment with politicians and stabilize the livelihoods of the people.Many said they were tired of the heightened negativity prevalent in election campaigns, characterized by blame, slander and smear tactics employed by both the ruling People Power Party (PPP) and the main opposition Democratic Party of Korea (DPK) leading up to Wednesday’s elections. They said such undue confrontation has only served to fuel distrust and anxiety among the public, and urged the parties to move toward harmony and coexistence for the good of the people and the country.“It is time for parties to join forces to come up with policies for the people as the nation grapples with numerous challenges, including conflicts between genders, regions and generations, as well as the soaring cost of housing and unresolved disputes over working hours,” Park Hyuk-joon, 26, said.He said these challenges have contributed to the country’s fast-declining birthrate. But he added, “No party has produced realistic and effective pledges to address those issues.”A 24-year-old university student, surnamed Choi, also expressed hopes for members of the 22nd National Assembly to stop denouncing each other, and instead prioritize the goal of enhancing the people’s livelihood.

“I was disappointed as candidates running in the elections focused only on criticizing the opposing side, rather than presenting their policies,” he said. “I want those elected this time to propose good bills to improve the lives of the people who are experiencing inflation coupled with worsening economic conditions.”Kang Se-eun, 26, said new lawmakers should draft more effective policies, citing the inadequacy of existing ones to reflect the evolving changes and diversity within society.“I think the social security system should be amended to include expanded state support in medical services or housing,” she said.A 29-year-old office worker in Seoul, surnamed Bang, expressed skepticism about why politicians choose to pursue political careers, particularly when she witnessed election campaigns filled with slander against their rivals.“I want new lawmakers to have rational discussions at the Assembly rather than engaging in emotional battles,” she said.A 28-year-old office worker and Yongsan District resident, surnamed Lee, voiced similar sentiments, saying negative election campaigning has turned young voters away from politics and polls.“I want politicians to make efforts to present their vision and policies to persuade voters,” she said. “In particular, I hope there will be more financial support for young people and single-person 온라인카지노 households.”

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