Liberalist Moon Jae-in is set to emerge as the next president of South Korea as exit polls shows he is leading conservative challenger Hoon Joon-pyo, by 41.4 to 23.3 per cent.
The 64-year-old is expected to beat conservative challenger, former prosecutor Hong, in a landslide victory that will end nearly a decade of conservative rule in South Korea.
Shortly after projections were reported, Moon spoke at his party’s headquarters saying the victory was expected, but added that South Koreans must “calmly wait” for official results.
“If we win indeed, I think today’s triumph is the triumph of yearning,” Moon said.
“First of all it was the yearning of the public, calling for the change of government. Second of all it is our yearning to realise that yearning of the public.”
Moon will replace ousted and disgraced Park Geun-hye who was axed from office earlier in March over corruption allegations.
Choi Soon-Sil, Park’s secret confidante at the heart of the scandal, is already on trial for forcing top local firms to “donate” nearly $70 million to non-profit foundations she allegedly used for personal gain.
Park who is the first leader to be ousted from office accepted responsibility for the events that culminated in the Constitutional Court upholding a parliamentary impeachment vote over an influence-peddling scandal that has shaken the political and business elite in South Korea.
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