11:09 pm - 12/19/2012

South Korea votes in first female president - South Korea election: Park Geun-hye defeats Moon Jae-i

Both candidates have pledged more welfare spending and dialogue with Pyongyang

South Korea's electoral commission says former dictator's daughter Park Geun-hye has won the country's presidential election.

Votes are still being counted but liberal candidate Moon Jae-in has conceded victory with 84% of votes counted.

Turnout was high in a poll dominated by economic and social welfare issues.

The new president will replace Lee Myung-bak, who is stepping down as the law requires after his five-year term.

Combined figures from the networks released after polls closed gave Ms Park 50.1% of the vote over Mr Moon's 48.9%.

From the moment polls opened at 06:00 on Wednesday (21:00 GMT on Tuesday), millions of South Koreans queued to cast their ballots despite freezing temperatures.


  • Park Geun-hye, daughter of a former military strongman and leader of the ruling Saenuri Party
  • Moon Jae-in, a close associate of late President Roh Moo-hyun and now leader of the opposition Democratic United Party

The exit poll conducted by the three broadcasters KBS, MBC and SBS had a 0.8% margin of error either way - meaning official results could be different.

Broadcaster JTBC also predicted the slimmest of wins for Ms Park, giving her 49.6% to Mr Moon's 49.4%.

But a poll conducted by YTN television network put Mr Moon ahead, giving him between 49.7-53.3% of the vote to Ms Park's 46.1- 49.9%.

Ms Park's supporters cheered as poll figures emerged, but neither camp has claimed or conceded victory.

Analysts expected that a strong turnout would favour Mr Moon. By 16:00 local time (07:00 GMT), with two hours of polling to go, turnout had already passed the 2007 election final figure of 63%.

Ms Park, the daughter of former military leader Park Chung-hee, is looking to make history as South Korea's first female president.

Both bolstered and dogged by the legacy of her father, who built South Korea's economy while crushing dissent, she apologised in September for human rights abuses under his administration.

Mr Moon of the Democratic United Party is a former human rights lawyer who served under former President Roh Moo-hyun. He was briefly jailed by Ms Park's father in the 1970s.

Both candidates have put forward broadly similar policies, promising to boost social welfare spending, close the gap between the rich and poor and rein in the family-run giant conglomerates known as chaebol.

On the issue of North Korea, which did not feature heavily in the campaign despite its recent rocket launch, both candidates have promised more engagement with Pyongyang - though, in Ms Park's case, more cautiously than her rival.

(source: BBC News)

op: hope the post is okay now mods!
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paularociio 19th-Dec-2012 11:57 pm (UTC)
Congratulations South Korea, I hope ur president is not like mine (I'm from Argentina ._.) xD
shiz_lestat 20th-Dec-2012 12:39 am (UTC)
At least here in Argentina we have advanced a lot in terms of minorities' rights (specially for LGBT people), which I find pretty positive

Edited at 2012-12-20 12:39 am (UTC)
yesungholic 20th-Dec-2012 12:09 am (UTC)
women to the power!
hope she does a good job :3
royu_kiyo 20th-Dec-2012 01:45 am (UTC)
Isn't it suppose to be "power to the women"?
annhh 20th-Dec-2012 12:11 am (UTC)
that's another step forward, having a female president. four for south korea, you go south korea~

usually with with female presidents, I see it as the reflection of modern culture but I don't see it here. it's like a hoax.

Edited at 2012-12-20 12:13 am (UTC)
purekpopology 20th-Dec-2012 12:19 am (UTC)
I know right?? Super surprised that Korea has a female president before my own country (US), weird.
hagar_tammaa 20th-Dec-2012 12:13 am (UTC)
wow korea is coming along way
love_keiko 20th-Dec-2012 12:14 am (UTC)
omg, excellent!
ashiva 20th-Dec-2012 12:16 am (UTC)
Damn it. I'm judging you Koreans for electing her. And I'm not talking about her gender, but her being part of conservative Saenuri Party (same party whose representative that shit head LMB was) and a daughter of a nasty dictator. Anyhow I guess this means ridiculous song and music video bannings will continue and Ministry of Gender Equality and Family will be given even more power and free speech situation will continue to deteriorate in SK.
45s 20th-Dec-2012 12:26 am (UTC)
This same sentiment is echoed by a few Korean blogs I follow.

Like, she's her own person and I'm hoping she's not like her dad (dood really sucked) but in my experience, legacy politicians never work out well. I lived through George bush 1, Jeb, George W. Yikes
gee 20th-Dec-2012 12:16 am (UTC)
Yay. But what are her views, more interested in that. To google I go.

"In a 2012 survey by Korean Research which assessed the political stance of 12 potential presidential candidates of South Korea, Park was considered the most conservative candidate" Oh. Have fun with that then Korea....

Edited at 2012-12-20 12:20 am (UTC)
itskimbitches 20th-Dec-2012 12:22 am (UTC)
Lolz everyone liking her for her gender instead of her views. She could be all about oppression.
shiz_lestat 20th-Dec-2012 12:24 am (UTC)
shiz_lestat 20th-Dec-2012 12:23 am (UTC)
One would think that a female President is a step forward for South Korea but seeing her background, it doesn't look very promising.
Electing a former dictator's daughter over a former human rights lawyer, really? =___=

Edited at 2012-12-20 04:31 am (UTC)
miwa201 20th-Dec-2012 01:39 am (UTC)
lawd, she's such a dumbass.
rosamajalis 20th-Dec-2012 12:34 am (UTC)
"Mr Moon of the Democratic United Party is a former human rights lawyer who served under former President Roh Moo-hyun. He was briefly jailed by Ms Park's father in the 1970s."

Wow ...
johnnyquest89 20th-Dec-2012 12:37 am (UTC)
meh, means nothing to me unless they give a reason for incarceration.
muhnaplusmuhna 20th-Dec-2012 01:22 am (UTC)
the_hedfones 20th-Dec-2012 12:42 am (UTC)
guys, she's the s.korea equivalent to the us's sarah palin. yeah she's a female president but that doesn't mean shit with her views.

sigh, you guys need to read before saying shit.
kazu_kumaguro 20th-Dec-2012 02:51 pm (UTC)
I'm afraid for SK tbh, my friend told me about her presidential debate and I think she is just a political puppet, her head seems empty.
sakatamarie 20th-Dec-2012 01:01 am (UTC)
Same shit that happened in Brazil.
'Oh we have a female president she'll be such a good president~ Because you know, she's a woman!'
Aaand, turns out she told a bunch of lies and when the country should getting prepared for the world cup, most the places won't get ready in time.
Sorry for my ranting and for the bad punctuation.
lenra 20th-Dec-2012 02:05 am (UTC)
fuck World cup/Olympics tbh, Brazil have a lot more problems than that, and reading about Park Geun-hye views shows the difference between their situation and ours. Oh and the reason people voted for Dilma was more because Lula was backing her up so logically folks thought that she would follow the same direction but unfortunately she left a lot to be desired.

Edited at 2012-12-20 02:08 am (UTC)
tokadah 20th-Dec-2012 01:04 am (UTC)
they elected the daughter of someone who abused your human rights > someone who fought for your rights...? -_-
shiz_lestat 20th-Dec-2012 01:07 am (UTC)
Yeah, that pretty much sums it up... :(
urbandrive 20th-Dec-2012 01:11 am (UTC)
Um, no, not congratulations to her just because she's a woman?

I think Korea's election was pretty unfair seeing as how their polls closed early so that students / other people who work weren't able to vote. Most people who could vote were the older generations who thought Park's father did a wonderful thing in bringing the economy up, which he did, but that means all of their votes go to Park and it leaves out the younger generations who are trying to make a difference and aren't given that opportunity because they don't have the time to vote.

I really hope she knows what she's doing, though. And I hope people actually focus on her policies instead of the fact that she's a "woman" and that its nice to see a change from the president always being a man.
bolingi_aii 20th-Dec-2012 01:16 am (UTC)
thats horrible that they closed the polls early, typical move. Voter suppression is a nagl.

I seriously think that the whole " she's a woman 11!~~" angle is going to work in her favor and stop people from really looking into her politics. Also it seems a bit racist to me, like lets clap loudly because those crazy backwards Koreans are finally getting in right in terms of social progression. Regardless of her race and where she comes from, people should look into her politics and not be blinded by her gender.
bolingi_aii 20th-Dec-2012 01:12 am (UTC)
before people start cheering, lets see what she actually does. Regardless of gender and race, I could never really trust a conservative politician, lets hope she swings more to the center than her father.
muhnaplusmuhna 20th-Dec-2012 01:21 am (UTC)
muzegrey 20th-Dec-2012 01:17 am (UTC)
She is not only someone who helped her dictator father during the regime but she is incredibly conservative, more than Lee Myung Bak. She has modified her positions only to get elected.

My fear is that his will only create more set backs for women. If she becomes an unpopular president it will give more fuel to the sexist groups within Korea. I don't think this will have a good outcome.

She barely even ran on a platform of helping women, so women's rights is not what she is pursuing.

Anyway, it's not exactly something to celebrate yet.
urbandrive 20th-Dec-2012 01:33 am (UTC)
Are you Korean? Did you vote?! I'm only asking because you seem to know a lot about the election. Haha.

Edited at 2012-12-20 01:34 am (UTC)
bolingi_aii 20th-Dec-2012 01:18 am (UTC)
lol was everyone this excited when Palin was gonna run? >.> there is a lot of Western paternalism over her victory in here.
liaison_alley 20th-Dec-2012 01:19 am (UTC)
Lots of judgments being made by people trying to make direct parallels to the West. I knew nothing about the woman so I trawled a bunch of different sites for info. The best stuff seems to be the consistency of what people are saying who are actually from South Korea.

We're trying to qualify 'conservative' as the same as our 'conservative', which is apparently not the case. The right in South Korea is not the right in the US. The left represents a pro-North Korean attitude to the exclusion of the rest of the world. The right is nothing like the equivalent of Sarah Palin.

I'm not saying this is the great thing either, just... educate yourselves before you pass judgment on a system you aren't familiar with.
muzegrey 20th-Dec-2012 01:29 am (UTC)
Not all leftist candidates are pro-North Korea. They simply don't want to antagonize them. The North Korean situation is very hard for people to understand from a Western perspective. Lee Myung Bak has been provoking them, but that's not really necessary. Think about it - North Korea has little real power, they have no resources outside of China's help and they are surrounded by enemies. They do often test military weapons but that is only a feeble way of trying to have power enough to negotiate. The real thing that needs to be addressed is the human rights issues and finding a way to get North Korean citizens the food and health care they need, yes, the North Korean government doesn't distribute it all, but it's better trying to get something going than to completely stop. The conservative candidates mostly want to have a very strong stance against North Korea which does little to help anyone or anything at all. Don't label leftists as pure extremists.
muhnaplusmuhna 20th-Dec-2012 01:20 am (UTC)
Wtf? Public memory appears universally fickle to me

bolingi_aii 20th-Dec-2012 01:37 am (UTC)
I think its less to do with public memory and more so with the fact that constituents seems to be so divided in terms of "economy" and "social issues". Often times we're deluded into thinking that because conservatives are more fiscally orientated then they'll care and do more for the economy. But those usually worried about the economy are lower middle class/poor individuals, who the Conservative party tends to ignore. Its really funny to me how this all works out.
b1gay4 20th-Dec-2012 01:41 am (UTC)
ppl still complaining she will be like her father wth
muzegrey 20th-Dec-2012 05:32 am (UTC)
She worked for him under his presidency. Uh. Yeah, I think people should complain.
sandritablue 20th-Dec-2012 01:54 am (UTC)
I can't believe she won...she's like the korean version Keiko Fujimori, the daugther of former Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori, who's father is in prison for Human rights violations, taking money from the government treasury and others....do this people have no shame? how can they run for president knowing what their parents did. smh
honeebs 20th-Dec-2012 02:07 am (UTC)
Well how can the people vote for her. Anyone can get on the ballot but the ballot has to be checked to win.
Time will tell.
vowel 20th-Dec-2012 02:16 am (UTC)
uh yeah no.
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