Seoul mayor leaving after losing school-lunch vote

AP News
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Posted: Aug 25, 2011 10:24 PM
Seoul mayor leaving after losing school-lunch vote

Seoul's mayor says he is stepping down after losing a referendum on free school lunches.

Oh Se-hoon's resignation Friday comes two days after he lost a citywide referendum that drew less than a third of Seoul's 8 million eligible voters. The turnout of 25.7 percent didn't meet legal requirement for counting ballots.

Voters were asked whether Seoul should give free lunches to all elementary and middle school students or institute a plan supported by Oh to give lunches to 50 percent of all schoolchildren. The conservative Oh vowed to resign if he lost.

The referendum's defeat means the 100 percent option takes effect. The program sparked national debate over how far South Korea should pursue a welfare state.