Wednesday, August 24, 2011

In memoriam OH Se-hoon

As Yogi said, it ain't over till it's over. But figures don't look that good for Seoul Mayor OH Se-hoon.

For this doomed school meal referendum*, he needs not only a 50+% majority, but a turnout stronger than 33.3%. Polls confirm a majority of Seoulites agree with him but we're in the middle of the summer and the opposition party called for a boycott of the referendum...

Unsurprisingly, the 33.3% target seems very very unlikely. At 4 PM, participation reached only 19.6% compared to 44.5% for last year's mayoral elections, and 24.2% for the last local elections in April (Jung-gu Commissioner). Final participation for the first ballot was 53.9% (poll stations closed at 6 PM), and 31.4% for the second (open until 8 PM, like today). Worse, the gap is widening between the August 24 and the April 27 ballots : +0.5 at 8 AM, -0.7 at 11 AM, -3.0 at 2 PM, and now -4.6 at 4 PM... The 33.3% target is not even reached yet in GNP strongholds : Seocho-gu and Gangnam-gu barely cross the 25% threshold with respectively 27.6% and 26.9%. A score between 25 and 30% would be honorable but unsufficient.

OH put his job in the balance, and confirmed he wouldn't run for the Presidential elections next year. The man reminds me of ROH Moo-hyun : basically a good person and a potential great president, but not the kind of predators that can rule over Korean politicians.

Miracles can happen, but time is running late.

And whatever happens, OH will bee a free man tonight.

Seoul Village 2011
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--- UPDATE 18:00 : participation "jumped" to 22.1%, Seocho and Gangnam now claim 30%+... and with office workers flocking to the polls, is a surprise like last year's last minute victory still possible ? ---

--- UPDATE 20:40 : final score ? Honorable (25.5%) but too low. If OH made some mistakes and compromises, he put Seoul on the world map and on the right track. I wish him well, and I hope for Seoul his successor can keep the same positive trend. ---

* see previous episodes, including "
Seoul free school lunch referendum (continued)"

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