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South Korea Successfully Holds General Elections During COVID-19 Pandemic
Heritage 2020.04.23 원문보기
South Korea‘s response to the coronavirus outbreak appears to have been remarkably successful. Unlike most of the Western world, it has managed to stop the spread of the virus, without shutting down its economy. Now, it has become the first country to successfully conduct a general election during the COVID-19 pandemic. It was not entirely business-as-usual for the voters, of course. The National Election Commission (NEC) established strict health protocols, requiring voters to wear face masks and disposable gloves, maintain social distancing, and pass a temperature check before casting ballots. Those failing the temperature check were required to use special voting stations that were disinfected after each use. Even with these extraordinary measures, more than 17 million South Koreans flocked to the polls on Wednesday. Overall turnout was over 65 percent, the highest in 28 years. Of course, South Korea has a proud history of resiliency in the face of adversity. As The Economist recently pointed out: “Historically, the country has rebounded quickly from economic shocks. After the Asian financial meltdown of 1997, it took just two years for GDP to return to its pre-crisis peak. The country also emerged more quickly than others from the global financial crisis of 2008, because its banks were in better shape than a decade before and because the government responded aggressively, with a mix of fiscal and monetary stimulus. It is responding to the covid-19 outbreak equally vigorously.”
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