Moon wins South Korean presidential election
Liberal politician Moon Jae-in won South Korea’s presidential election yesterday, an exit poll showed, an expected victory that would end nearly a decade of conservative rule and bring a more conciliatory approach toward North Korea.
A decisive win for Moon would end months of political turmoil that led to parliament’s impeachment of conservative former President Park Geun-hye over an extensive corruption scandal.
The constitutional court upheld the impeachment in March, making Park the first democratically-elected leader in South Korea to be removed from office and triggering a snap election to choose her successor.
Wearing a dark blue suit and blue tie, Moon was seen shaking hands with supporters and party officials and smiling on his way to a meeting of his Democratic Party after the exit poll results were announced.
He told party members: “We will need to calmly wait and see as this was just exit polls.
“But if things go on this way and we win, today’s victory is thanks to sheer desperation of the people who wanted a regime change .
“We will accomplish the two tasks given to us, reform and national unity that the people of this country desire.”
The exit poll by South Korea’s three biggest broadcasters showed Moon, 64, capturing 41.4 per cent of the votes in a field of 13 candidates. Official results are expected today.
Former prosecutor Hong Joon-pyo was second with 23.3 per cent of the votes and centrist candidate Ahn Cheol-soo had 21.1 per cent. A plurality is enough for victory.
“If exit polls are true, I will accept the results and just be satisfied with the fact that the Liberty Korea Party will be restored,” a downbeat-looking Hong told members of his Conservative Party.