S.Korean media: Governing party in lead in nationwide local elections

Polling stations have closed in South Korea's local elections, the first nationwide polls since the inauguration of President Yoon Suk-yeol last month.

Public broadcaster KBS is reporting that the governing People Power Party is expected to win a majority of the 17 contested posts.

The voting ended at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday.

The polls, which take place once every four years, will decide the mayors of the capital Seoul and seven other major cities, as well as the governors of nine provinces and some other offices.

KBS conducted exit polls with two other major television networks.

It says the governing party is expected to win 10 posts in Seoul, Busan and other places, while the largest opposition Democratic Party has an advantage in four, mainly in the southwestern region.

Parliamentary by-elections for several legislative posts were also held along with the local elections.

The results of the elections are expected to be out early on Thursday.

Yoon assumed presidency on May 10 as the leader of the country's first conservative government in five years.

Observers say attention is focused on how much the president's party can gain momentum for running the government by garnering widespread support.