Presidential elections-2022 in the Republic of Korea

Publication type Article
Status Published
Occupation: Leading Research Fellow, Korean Studies Center
Affiliation: Institute of Far Eastern Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences
Address: 32, Nakhimovsky Av., Moscow, 117997, Russian Federation
Journal nameProblemy Dalnego Vostoka
EditionIssue 2

The presidential race of 2022 was fought on the background of the uneasy legacy of President Moon Jae-in between the candidate of the ruling Democratic Party Lee Jae-myong and the representative of the conservatives, former Attorney General Yoon Seok-yeol. Each of the camps was represented by a person who was not a typical representative of his camp and has a difficult relationship with the "core of the party". Lee is a representative of the inner-party opposition, and not Moon's successor. Yoon has found himself in the conservative camp after the conflict with the Blue House due to the logic of factional struggle and the absence of a third force in the politics of the Republic of Korea. Lee was called the Korean Bernie Sanders because of the promise of unconditional basic income and other social programs, and in foreign policy he promised to continue inter-Korean rapprochement. Yun had to reflect conservative discourse and advocated a tougher policy towards the DPRK, an alliance with the United States and the restoration of relations with Japan.


The elections turned out to be a record in terms of populist promises and black PR against candidates and their families. This led to a specific situation when, on the eve of the elections, both candidates had a high anti-rating and the final gap between them was less than one percent. In such a situation, the victorious Yoon Seok-yeol will have to face the split of society, the Democrats controlling the parliament, and the need to strengthen the unity of the party in the difficult international situation and internal problems.

KeywordsPresidential elections of 2022 in S Korea, internal politics of South Korea, populism, political technologies, Lee Jae-myung, Yoon Seok-yeol
Publication date19.04.2022
Number of characters40669
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