Pardon of a former president imprisoned for the purpose of influencing the upcoming South Korean presidential election: Analyst

New analysis

Former South Korean President Park Geun-hye was released on December 31, 2021 after being sentenced to four years and nine months in prison after being convicted of corruption by the government last week.

She was the daughter of former President Park Chung-hee and the first female president of South Korea. Four years ago, she was impeached and arrested for a political scandal involving a “political trustee.”

President Moon Jae-in has given Park (69) a special amnesty for his poor health since his imprisonment in March 2017, and “national unity” is another reason for Park’s amnesty. Added.

“We must overcome the pain of the past and move on to a new era,” Moon said in a statement, adding that “national unity and humble inclusiveness are of utmost urgency.” ..

“National Unity” or “Future Elections”?

The 2022 South Korean presidential election will be held on March 9, as President Moon Jae-in’s five-year term ends that month. The duel between the ruling Democratic Party (DP) Lee Jae-myung and the opposition Conservative Party (PPP) Yoon Seok-yul is due to the lack of sufficient support from third-party candidates. Top role.

The Moon Jae-in administration has not admitted that Park’s amnesty is related to the March Korean presidential election, but South Korean public opinion has said it is not.

According to South Korea Yonhap News AgencyIn a poll released on December 30, 2021, immediately after the government announced Park’s special amnesty on December 24, 2021, Moon’s approval rate was 47%, the highest ever in 2021. It became.

South Korean political analysts said Park’s amnesty played a positive role for the moon. In the survey, 59% of respondents said Park’s amnesty was a “right decision” and 34% said “the decision was wrong.”

Mr. Moon had previously refused to move to the amnesty park, saying that “justice of the judiciary” and “national consensus” must be considered before deciding on an amnesty. However, many conservative opposition supporters and politicians have sought Park’s amnesty prior to the 2022 elections.

However, the moon’s negative attitude towards the park’s amnesty suddenly changed in December 2021 when the public learned that the park had reported a serious deterioration in health in prison.

Some analysts suggestion That month’s move was to pave the way for his smooth retirement and help his ruling presidential candidate win the next election. And so far, both goals have been achieved.

While the approval rating for the month has risen, the ruling party candidate Lee Jae-myung has also expanded the voting lead to the opposition Conservative Party candidate Yoon Seok-yul.

According to a KBS survey last week, 39.3% of respondents said they would vote for Lee when the next day’s elections were held, and 27.3% said they would vote for Yun. Nikkei Asia Report. Lee’s lead exceeded the margin of error.

Yun disbanded the campaign team on January 5 after losing a major position in a recent poll. Conservative candidates want to increase the support of the younger generation by incorporating young faces into their campaigns.

“A committee called the Mammoth couldn’t find out what people wanted,” Yun told reporters at the People Power Party’s office in Seoul. “I will create an active-level election team and have talented young officials lead it.”

Park amnesty changes tide in election races

During the two months leading up to the presidential election, candidates for both major parties were busy confusing each other. Family scandals and controversies have dominated the debate over the past few months instead of policy debates and future plans.

On December 16, Democratic presidential candidate Lee Jae-myung admitted that his 29-year-old son had engaged in illegal gambling through a press release and has made many apologies since then. With more allegations of Lee’s son visiting a massage parlor suspected of being sexually trafficked, which Lee denied.

On December 17, Yun Suk-yul, a conservative presidential candidate for the People Power Party, apologized for the controversy over the inaccurate resume of his wife who got a job at a prominent university.

Neither candidate seemed to provide Koreans with a clear vision for the country’s future amid the ongoing CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus pandemic and rising tensions between the United States and China. As a result, both candidates lost votes last month.

However, the timely amnesty to Mr. Park on the moon seems to have played for the benefit of the ruling Democratic Party, ahead of Lee in fierce competition.

Jessica Mao


Jessica Mao is a writer of The Epoch Times, focusing on topics related to China. She started writing the Chinese version in 2009.