The new mayor of Seoul, Oh Se-hoon, starts his first day on the job. He won Wednesday’s by-election as the candidate for the main opposition People Power Party. Oh has already served as the mayor of Seoul, running the city between 2006 and 2011 before leaving midway through his second term after clashing with the opposition-dominated city council over their introduction of free school lunches for all students. When entering the city hall on Thursday, Oh expressed his pledge as the new mayor.
“Starting from today, Seoul city will work hard again. I’ll really try hard to help Seoul residents who are struggling from COVID-19 and from other economic hardships. I’d really like to help in some way.”
Since the new mayor is from the opposition party, he’ll have to cooperate with the ruling party in order to get things done. Mayor Oh said that he will break down housing regulations through a “speed housing supply project.” He is planning to ease height regulations for Seoul apartments and expand commercial zones outside the richest districts of Gangnam, Seocho and Songpa.
Meanwhile, Finance Minister Hong Nam-ki at a meeting on Thursday said there will be no changes in the government’s real estate policy and he expects that there will be stronger cooperation between the central government and local governments.
Now that there are plans to change the policies, it remains to be seen if the new mayor can carry them out in 15 months.