Democratic Party's Moon Jae-in vows to be "president for the people"
Moon could open talks with North Korea for the first time in years
South Korea’s presidential election has been won by Moon Jae-in, a liberal who favors a more open policy toward North Korea.
Moon, the Democratic Party’s candidate to replace ousted President Park Geun-hye, was declared the winner by the country’s National Election Commission. With 100% of the votes counted, Moon won with 41.08%, the commission said.
According to the commission, 13,423,800 voters selected Moon Jae-in as their preference for President.
Prior to the announcement, speaking to supporters Tuesday at a rally on Seoul’s historic Gwanghwamun Square – the site of mass protests that helped eject Park – Moon said he would be a “president for the people.”
The election of Moon, a 64-year-old former human rights lawyer, is likely to mean an overhaul for Seoul’s policy on North Korea. Unlike his hard-line conservative predecessor, he favors engagement with Pyongyang and has challenged the deployment of a controversial US missile defense system.
“This is the great victory for the great people who have been with me to build a just country, united country and a country where principle and common sense works, Moon said.
Speaking at Democratic Party headquarters following an exit poll announcement that showed him well ahead of conservative Hong Jun-pyo and centrist Ahn Cheol-soo, respectively, Moon said he was expecting a “landslide victory.” He said his win came from the “desperation of the people for a new government.”
South Koreans were seeking to fill the void left by the impeachment of Park, who was ejected from office in March after a corruption scandal for which she’s awaiting trial.
Moon, viewed as a “clean” candidate by many voters, narrowly lost to Park in 2012.