Oh Se-hoon, the candidate of the main opposition People Power Party, celebrates next to his wife Song Hyun-ok (2nd L) and party’s members while watching television broadcasting the counting for the Seoul mayoral by-election, at party headquarters in Seoul, South Korea, April 8, 2021. [Photo/Agencies]

SEOUL – South Korea’s ruling Democratic Party suffered a crushing defeat in the by-elections for new mayors of the country’s two biggest cities, the National Election Commission said Thursday.

Oh Se-hoon of the main conservative opposition People Power Party won a landslide victory over Park Young-sun of the Democratic Party 57.50 percent to 39.18 percent in the mayoral by-election of the capital Seoul.

In the mayoral by-election of the country’s southeastern port city of Busan, Park Heong-joon of the People Power Party defeated Kim Young-choon of the Democratic Party by a wider margin 62.67 percent to 34.42 percent.

The voter turnouts for Seoul and Busan reached 58.2 percent and 52.7 percent respectively, topping 50 percent for the first time in by-elections.

It marked the first victory of the conservative bloc in about five years since the Democratic Party had won nationwide elections, including general elections in 2016 and 2020, local elections in 2018 and the presidential election in 2017.