South Korean crowds vote in presidential poll

Last Updated: Wednesday, December 19, 2012 - 15:11

Zeenews Bureau

Seoul: Weathering an inclement chill, South Koreans on Wednesday marched out of their homes to cast their votes in a crucial presidential election that could see the nation getting its first female President.

The election is thought to be a neck and neck race between two top contenders - Park Geun-hye of the governing Saenuri party and Moon Jae-in of the Democratic United Party.

South Koreans stood in long lines, wrapped in mufflers and parkas. A big turnout could mean large numbers of young people more likely to be aligned with Moon are going to the polls, analysts said.

Park`s conservative base is comprised mainly of older voters who remember with fondness what they see as the firm economic and security guidance of her dictator father, Park Chung-hee.

Seoul`s election watchdog said turnout was about 59 per cent this afternoon, which is 11 percentage points higher than five years ago, when current conservative President Lee Myung-bak won a landslide victory It is also 5 percentage points higher than a decade ago, when Moon`s protege and former boss, liberal Roh Moo-hyun, won.

Today is a national holiday in South Korea. Polls opened at 2100 GMT and were to close at 0900 GMT, after which television broadcasters planned to announce results from exit polls predicting a winner.

For all their differences, Moon, who was Roh`s former chief of staff, and Park, who belongs to Lee`s party, hold remarkably similar views on the need to engage with Pyongyang and other issues.

Park`s conservative base is comprised mainly of older voters who remember with fondness what they see as the firm economic and security guidance of her dictator father, Park Chung-hee.

Seoul`s election watchdog said turnout was about 59 per cent this afternoon, which is 11 percentage points higher than five years ago, when current conservative President Lee Myung-bak won a landslide victory It is also 5 percentage points higher than a decade ago, when Moon`s protege and former boss, liberal Roh Moo-hyun, won.

Today is a national holiday in South Korea. Polls opened at 2100 GMT and were to close at 0900 GMT, after which television broadcasters planned to announce results from exit polls predicting a winner.

For all their differences, Moon, who was Roh`s former chief of staff, and Park, who belongs to Lee`s party, hold remarkably similar views on the need to engage with Pyongyang and other issues.

With Agency Inputs



First Published: Wednesday, December 19, 2012 - 09:36

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