World

Moon Jae In projected to win Seoul presidency

SEOUL: South Koreans will vote tomorrow for their next president in an election sparked by the impeachment of Ms Park Geun Hye in March.

Ms Park was ousted over a corruption scandal that triggered mass demonstrations by citizens angered over claims of influence-peddling and cronyism in the presidential Blue House, The Financial Times reported.

The saga appeared to have galvanised voters, with a record number of South Koreans - more than 10 million people, which is 24 per cent of the electorate - taking part in early voting on Thursday and Friday.

POISED TO WIN

Mr Moon Jae In, a former human rights lawyer from a refugee family who fought for democracy in his younger days, looks poised to win.

Opinion polls are in his favour, The Straits Times reported.

The 64-year-old candidate from the liberal Democratic Party has consistently outranked peers, scoring 42.2 per cent in the latest Realmeter survey, more than double that of his closest rivals.

"I am the best-prepared presidential candidate who can overcome the economic, security and diplomatic crisis facing South Korea," Mr Moon proclaimed on TV.

Seoul is in dire need of strong leadership to deal with North Korea's growing missile threats and implement bold reforms to fix a sluggish economy and eradicate social evils linked to Ms Park.

Mr Moon has promised to curb the concentration of economic power in the hands of the chaebols, the family-oriented business groups whose ties to government have been exposed in the wide-ranging scandal that saw Ms Park impeached, AFP reported.

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