Yoon apologizes over ruling party's election defeat

By Kim Joo-heon Posted : April 16, 2024, 17:34 Updated : April 16, 2024, 21:59
President Yoon Suk Yeol delivers remarks at a Cabinet session at the Yongsan presidential office YONHAP PHOTO
President Yoon Suk Yeol speaks during a Cabinet meeting at the presidential office in Seoul on April 16, 2024. (YONHAP PHOTO)
SEOUL, April 16 (AJU PRESS) – President Yoon Suk Yeol apologized Tuesday for his failure to uphold the will of the people, which he blamed for the ruling party's crushing defeat in last week's parliamentary elections. 

The ruling People Power Party was routed in the April 10 elections, securing only 108 seats in the 300-member National Assembly, compared to the opposition Democratic Party's 175. 

"I am sorry as the president for not properly considering and upholding the will of the people," Yoon was quoted as saying during a Cabinet meeting at the presidential office. 

Yoon also said he would humbly accept the public sentiment expressed in the elections and try to improve communication with the public, a senior aide told reporters after the meeting. 

"Over the past two years since taking office, I have looked only to the people and walked the path for the national interest, but failed to meet their expectations," the president said. 

"Despite making every effort to set the right direction for state affairs and implementing it, we fell short of making sufficient changes for the people to feel.”

Despite achievements in fighting inflation and stabilizing the real estate market, he admitted there were shortcomings in overcoming the gap between policies and implementations. 

He reaffirmed his commitment to advancing his plan to increase admissions to medical schools, despite the ongoing strike by thousands of trainee doctors since February, who voiced apprehensions that the planned expansion might harm the quality of medical education. 

The presidential office also said Yoon is open to talks with opposition leader Lee Jae-myung, whom he has refused to officially meet since his inauguration two years ago, apparently due to criminal charges faced by Lee. 

The aide suggested the president may meet with the leaders to the ruling and opposition parties but noted it will take time for the meeting to materialize as the ruling party must regroup after its electoral defeat.
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