Wednesday, Apr 1, 2015Wednesday, Apr 1, 2015

Ferry disaster clouds key vote for Seoul mayor

Published on May 29, 2014 12:51 PM
The posters of local election candidates are dispolayed on a wall in Seoul on May 29, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP 

SEOUL (AFP) - South Korea's ferry disaster has cast a heavy shadow over upcoming local elections, especially the key race for Seoul mayor - a high-profile post seen as a possible springboard for the presidency.

With the nation still reeling from the April 16 tragedy that claimed around 300 lives, mostly schoolchildren, next week's polls for city councils, mayors and provincial governors offer a chance to measure the extent of the political fallout.

Surrounded by allegations of negligence, greed and incompetence, the sinking of the 6,825-tonne Sewol ferry triggered intense criticism of the government and President Park Geun-Hye whose ruling conservative Saenuri Party fears a backlash in the June 4 vote.

Particular attention will be paid to the mayoral race in Seoul where the two main candidates for one of the most powerful jobs in the country present a timely study in contrasts.

Enjoy 2 weeks of unlimited digital access to The Straits Times. Get your free access now!