South Koreans are taking Tuesday’s presidential election seriously. Estimates suggest that the voter turnout is likely to be as high as over 90 percent. Over 11 million people – or more than 26 percent of the nation’s 42.5 million registered voters – have already cast their ballots in early voting, according to local media. This year is the first time early voting has been available in a presidential election. South Koreans are voting for a replacement for former President Park Geun-hye, who was recently ousted from office on account of a high-profile corruption scandal. Park was subsequently charged with bribery, coercion, abuse of power and leaking state secrets.
The scandal drew South Koreans’ attention to the nation’s politics. For months, massive protests were staged calling on Park to quit her post. South Korea’s democracy – only 30 years old – may be relatively young, but it has developed an energetic protest culture and a largely politicized population.
Given the scam, it’s little surprising that the opposition party’s Moon Jae-in has emerged as the frontrunner to win the election.
Moon, a former human rights lawyer and aide to late liberal President Roh Moo-hyun, was the Democratic Party candidate in the last presidential election in 2012 and lost to Park Geun-hye. This time round, the 64-year-old seems to embody the long-awaited change.Read: Fake News in South Korea
Full Article: South Korea faces a pivotal vote | Asia | DW.COM | 08.05.2017.