Exit polls predict S. Korean ruling party losing majority

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Exit polls from South Korea's parliamentary election indicate that President Park Geun-hye's conservative party will not regain its majority in the 300-seat National Assembly.

Such an outcome in Wednesday's elections would jeopardize Park's plans to push ahead with controversial economic reforms, and would blow open next year's presidential race.

Pollsters had predicted the ruling Saenuri Party to crush a divided opposition for a decisive win and raise its expectations to take the presidency in 2017, after Park's single term expires.

Exit polls by three national television networks unveiled after voting ended at 6 p.m. showed Saenuri managing 118-147 seats. The networks projected the main opposition Minjoo Party winning 97-128 seats, and the People's Party, a new party created mostly by those who defected from Minjoo, taking 31-43 seats.