Foreigners won't have the right to vote in Sunday's election but the national association of South Koreans, the largest ethnic group of permanent foreign residents, is waging a rare political campaign to win local-level suffrage because it believes there is too much at stake this time.

The Korean Residents Union in Japan (Mindan), which represents permanent South Korean residents, is campaigning for candidates in favor of foreigners' suffrage in local-level elections.

Whether to give permanent foreign residents suffrage has long been a contentious political issue. Mindan has been pursuing the right for many years, and the election is viewed as a big chance to improve the odds, a senior Mindan official said.