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TMCNet:  A look at South Korea's presidential election

[December 18, 2012]

A look at South Korea's presidential election

(Associated Press Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) SEOUL, South Korea -- A brief look at South Korea's presidential election: ___ WHAT'S AT STAKE: A single five-year presidential term starting Feb. 25 to replace conservative incumbent President Lee Myung-bak and lead Asia's fourth-largest economy.


___ WHO'S RUNNING: Park Geun-hye, the daughter of late dictator Park Chung-hee and a five-term lawmaker of the ruling conservative party, is running against Moon Jae-in, a former human rights lawyer who served as close aide to former liberal President Roh Moo-hyun. Ahn Cheol-soo, an independent who founded the country's largest antivirus software maker, dropped out of the race to support Moon.

___ WHO CAN VOTE: About 40 million people aged 19 or older are eligible to vote in a population of 50 million.

___ MAIN ISSUES: Welfare and other measures to curb widening income gaps have been topics. A rocket launch by North Korea last week raised the tense ties with Pyongyang higher as an issue, but generally the North has been low on voters' agenda.

Park's historical views toward her father's dictatorship dominated the election landscape early in the race, while the opposition blasted incumbent President Lee for his massive government projects, including the renovation of four major rivers around the country.

Conservatives attacked Moon's liberal camp with accusations that his former boss Roh promised North Korean leader Kim Jong Il during a 2007 summit that Seoul would yield to Pyongyang's claim over a disputed sea boundary. Moon denies it.

Reforms to streamline the legislature were also a topic of debate.

(c) 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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