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South Korea's ruling party holds on to parliament

By Vicky Kung, for CNN
updated 3:46 AM EDT, Thu April 12, 2012
Saenuri Party leader Park Geun-hye in Seoul Thursday after her party won a majority in the National Assembly.
Saenuri Party leader Park Geun-hye in Seoul Thursday after her party won a majority in the National Assembly.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Results expected to boost Park's chances in December presidential election
  • She as well as her rival, the DUP's Moon Jae-in, win seats in the Assembly.
  • Voter turnout this year was 54.3 percent, up 8.2 percent from four years ago.
  • Opposition DUP was expected to win landslide victory

(CNN) -- Park Geun-hye is living up to her nickname, the "Queen of Elections."

A day after her ruling Saenuri (or New Frontier) party won a majority in general elections, Park, its leader and likely presidential candidate, pledged that people's lives will get better.

"[We] will be sure to put into practice all the things we promised to the people," she said, according to Yonhap News Agency. "[We] will start anew with the mindset that we will be remembered as sinners if we revert to the old ways of the past."

Of the 299 seats up for grabs in the National Assembly, Saenuri won 152 seats, while the opposition Democratic United Party (DUP) took 127.

The election results are expected to boost Park's chances in the presidential election in December.

Acknowledging defeat, the DUP's Secretary-General Park Sun-sook apologized for disappointing the party's supporters after pre-vote predictions of a landslide victory.

"The Democratic Party failed to turn public calls for punishing the current government and the ruling party into reality. We are sorry to disappoint the people," Park said.

"We will deeply reflect upon the meaning of today and try ceaselessly to be reborn as a party that the people can rely on."

Voter turnout this year was 54.3%, up 8.2% from the election four years ago.

In the run-up to polling, a series of corruption scandals battered public confidence in traditional political parties. The ruling party was no exception: It changed its name from the Grand National Party to Saenuri in February to signal change.

DUP's popularity also plunged amid revelations one of its candidates, Kim Yong-min, made sexist comments during a 2004 Internet radio talk show. The party apologized for the incident but did not remove Kim from office.

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