Seoul free lunch referendum, 2011

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The Seoul Free Lunch Referendum was a referendum held on 24 August 2011, on the subject of free school meals in the schools around the Seoul Metropolitan Area. The former mayor of Seoul, Oh Se-hoon, proposed to provide a limited free meal service to the 30% of the impoverished children in Seoul, but the Democratic Party proposed to make the free meal service to every child in Seoul starting from younger elementary school children and gradually to middle school children.[1] This has become the cause of Oh Se-hoon's action to make the final decision of the policy through a referendum. The referendum was later rejected due to the low voter turnout of 25.7%, significantly lower than the required turnout of 33.3%.[2] The low voting rate contributed Oh Se-hoon's resignation from the mayoralty of Seoul.


  • The Democratic Party called the referendum and Oh Se-hoon's action unjust because the free school lunch in Seoul for a year costs 69.5 billion won while the referendum costs around 12 billion won.[3]
  • The Grand National Party, Oh Se-hoon's political party of affiliation, considered Oh's defeat in a different perspective. The Chairperson of the GNP, Hong Jun-pyo, expressed his personal opinion that over 25% of the voting rate is enough to support the GNP for the 2012 presidential election.[4][5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Jung (정), Gi-cheol (기철) (2010-10-22). ‘친환경 무상급식’ 해결기미 가물가물 . Asia Today (in Korean). Retrieved 2011-09-24. 
  2. ^ Kim (김), Pul-ip (풀잎) (2011-08-24). 무상급식 주민투표 결과…투표율 25.7%에 무산 ‘오세훈 거취 주목’ . 아츠뉴스 사회 (in Korean). Retrieved 2011-09-24. 
  3. ^ Jang (장), Yeon-ju (연주) (2011-01-11). 695억 막으려고 120억 써버린다?... 오세훈의 ‘무리수’ . 헤럴드경제 (in Korean). 
  4. ^ Hwang (황), Bang-yeol (방열) (2011-08-25). '식물시장' 오세훈 승리? 정신 못차린 청와대 . OhMyNews (in Korean). Retrieved 2011-09-24. 
  5. ^ Cho (조), Hyeon-cheol (현철) (2011-08-24). 한나라·청와대 "사실상 승리" 주장 . Kyunghyang Sinmun (in Korean). Retrieved 2011-09-24. 

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