Liberal Moon Jae-in wins S. Korean presidential election

May 9, 2017

SEOUL, May 10 (Yonhap) — Moon Jae-in of the liberal Democratic Party was elected South Korea’s new president early Wednesday, with his five-year term set to begin shortly after confirmation of his victory by the election watchdog.

Moon

The 64-year-old won some 11.4 million, or 40.2 percent, of all votes counted as of 2:37 a.m., according to the National Election Commission (NEC).

He had a 4.3 million vote lead over runner-up Hong Joon-pyo of the conservative Liberty Korea Party, with less than 4.2 million votes cast in the election remaining uncounted.

More than 32.8 million, or 77.2 percent, of all eligible voters cast their ballots in Tuesday’s election, marking the highest voter turnout in a presidential election since 1997.

Hong had about 7.15 million, or 25.2 percent, of the votes counted so far.

He was followed by Ahn Cheol-soo of the center-left People’s Party with 21.5 percent of the votes.

The NEC was expected to name Moon the president-elect after its official vote counting was completed.

The rare presidential by-election was called in the wake of the March 10 ouster of former President Park Geun-hye over a range of corruption allegations that have led to her arrest and indictment.

With the country’s top elected office currently vacant, Moon’s single five-year term will begin immediately after the NEC confirms his victory in a meeting scheduled to be held before 10 a.m. Wednesday.

He was set to be sworn in as the country’s 19th president in a small, makeshift inauguration ceremony at the National Assembly, involving National Assembly Speaker Chung Sye-kyun and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Yang Sung-tae.

bdk@yna.co.kr

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