Election of President in South Korea

Tuesday, 9 May, 2017 - 13:00

South Koreans went to the polls Tuesday to choose a new president after Park Geun-Hye was ousted and indicted for corruption, against a backdrop of high tensions with the nuclear-armed North.

Voters have been galvanised by anger over the sprawling bribery and abuse-of-power scandal that brought down Park, which catalysed frustrations over jobs and slowing growth.

Left-leaning Moon Jae-In, a former human rights lawyer, has held a commanding lead in opinion polls for months. The final Gallup Korea survey of the campaign gave him 38 percent support, followed by former tech mogul Ahn Cheol-Soo on 20 percent.

Hong Joon-Pyo of Park's Liberty Korea party, who according to the last poll languished in third place in the 13-strong field on 16 percent, urged voters to support him and branded Moon a "pro-Pyongyang leftist".

A record turnout was expected, and 63.7 percent of voters had cast their ballots four hours before the polls closed compared with 59.3 percent at the same point five years ago.