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Moon Jae-in

Victorious Moon Jae-in vows to unify bruised South Korea

9 May 2017 World


South Korea’s new leader Moon Jae-in celebrated an election victory with his supporters on Tuesday as he is set to take the helm as the new president.

Moon is expected to be sworn in for a five-year term later on Wednesday. He has said he would skip a lavish inauguration ceremony and start work straight away.

Moon’s victory will end months of political turmoil that led to parliament’s impeachment of conservative former President Park Geun-hye over an extensive corruption scandal, which a court upheld in March. Park became the first democratically elected leader in South Korea to be removed from office, triggering a snap election to choose her successor.

Moon Jae-in pledged that he would become a president for everyone – including those who didn’t support him — and celebrated the moment in Seoul with party members and supporters applauding and screaming his name.

With 48 per cent of the votes counted at 1535 GMT, Moon was ahead with 39.6 per cent, according to the National Election Commission.

A conservative challenger, former prosecutor Hong Joon-pyo, was next with 26.3 per cent followed by centrist candidate Ahn Cheol-soo with 21.3 per cent. A plurality of votes is enough for victory.

Moon is expected to be sworn in for a five-year term on Wednesday. He has said he would skip a lavish inauguration ceremony and start work straight away.

He is likely to quickly name a prime minister, who will need parliamentary approval. The main cabinet posts, including national security and finance ministers, do not need parliamentary confirmation.

 

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