Opposition victory in South Korea offer lessons for anti-Marcos forces
South Korea had its presidential elections last March 9, Wednesday.
The race had twelve candidates, but the fight was really between Lee Jae-Myung of the ruling Democratic Party of Korea and Yoon Seok-Youl of the opposition People Power Party. Lee, the anointed successor of incumbent President Moon Jae-In, is widely regarded as a liberal while Yoon is labeled a conservative. Yoon ultimately won the presidency by a margin of just 247,077 votes out of 24 million votes cast.
If the winning margin is that small, then any single factor could be decisive. For example, Yoon Seok-Youl’s narrow victory can be attributed to the decision of his fellow conservative Ahn Cheol-soo to drop out of the presidential race and endorse him just six days before the elections.
On the other side, Sim Sang-jung, another progressive candidate, placed third with 803,358 votes. Her votes could have swung the elections in favor of Lee Jae-Myung had she endorsed him.
The lesson here for the Philippines, especially for the opposition, is that every vote counts. With our presidential elections still two months away, unification is still possible. As it is, former Senator Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. remains the frontrunner for the 2022 presidential race by a wide margin.
Vice President Leni Robredo can still benefit immensely if some of her rivals will drop out, especially those who are getting the support of voters who can otherwise be persuaded to vote for her. If the goal is to deny Marcos of victory, then it is time for drastic moves.