Leaders of the ruling People Power Party (PPP) pledged Thursday to heed the voice of the people and come up with extraordinary measures to win back their trust after a crushing defeat in this week's by-election for chief of Seoul's Gangseo Ward office.
Jin Kyo-hoon of the main opposition Democratic Party (DP) won 56.52 percent of the vote against his PPP rival Kim Tae-woo's 39.37 percent in Wednesday's election seen as a test of voter sentiment ahead of next year's parliamentary elections.
The larger-than-expected margin of 17.15 percentage points was seen as a warning against the way the administration of President Yoon Suk Yeol handles state affairs and alarmed the ruling party at a time when April's general elections are only six months away.
"Our party has put forward our best efforts, with sincerity, but was unable to receive the choice of the Gangseo Ward residents," PPP leader Kim Gi-hyeon said in a party leadership meeting. "We will analyze the reasons for the defeat in a cool-headed manner and come up with extraordinary measures to win the general elections."
The PPP floor leader, Rep. Yun Jae-ok, vowed to put more effort into caring for people's livelihoods.
"We will analyze the election result and the various difficulties people are going through so as to make up the shortfalls in party policies and management and pour all our energy into the recovery of the economy and people's livelihoods," he said.
On Friday, the PPP plans to hold a meeting of its leadership to gather plans to improve the party's structure ahead of the upcoming general elections, said PPP's chief spokesperson, Rep. Kang Min-kuk.
Wednesday's by-election took place after Kim was removed from the top post of the ward office in May due to a suspended prison sentence for leaking secrets he gained while working for a special inspection team under former President Moon Jae-in.
Source: Yonhap News Agency