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S Korea ruling party loses two by-elections

Written by: Staff

SEOUL, Oct 25 (Reuters) South Korea's ruling Uri Party lost two parliamentary seats by-elections today, but still holds the highest number of seats in parliament.

The conservative Grand National Party captured one seat in the port city of Inchon while the small, liberal Democratic Party won in the traditional liberal stronghold of Cholla province, an official at the National Election Commission said.

The Uri Party still holds the most seats with 141. After today's election, the main opposition Grand National Party increased its seats to 127 from 126.

Roh's left-of-centre Uri Party lost its parliamentary majority last year after scores of lawmakers were stripped of their seats following convictions on election law violations.

Roh's approval rating has dipped below 20 per cent in some public opinion polls, down from a peak of about 60 per cent shortly after he took office in February 2003 for a single five-year term.

Roh and his party have been perceived as having failed to deliver on his reform pledges, according to polls.

Reuters PB DB2127

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