News / Asia

S.Korean Exit Polls Suggest Tight Presidential Race

South Koreans wait in line to cast their votes in a presidential election at a polling station in Seoul, South Korea, December 19, 2012.
South Koreans wait in line to cast their votes in a presidential election at a polling station in Seoul, South Korea, December 19, 2012.
Exit polling data conducted jointly by three broadcasters in South Korea indicate Park Geun-hye has slightly above a one percent lead over her opponent in the country's presidential election.

If the combined projections from three South Korean broadcasting stations prove accurate, Saenuri Party candidate Park Geun-hye will be the country's next president.

The exit survey indicate Park has 50.1 percent of the vote and Moon Jae-in of the Democratic United Party 48.9 percent. But those numbers lie right on the edge of the survey's stated one-point-two percent margin of error.

Thus analysts say the race is too close to call.

Turnout was high -- surpassing the two previous presidential elections -- despite sub-freezing temperatures across the country. Voters, bundled in their thickest winter clothing and stomping their feet to stay warm, waited in long lines to get into polling stations.

At a polling station in the capital, 51-year-old Chun Dae-young, noted he has never had to line up before to vote. The small business owner expressed sentiments typical of Moon's supporters.

Chun says he wants “to live in a society where law, common sense and rules are recognized.” He says the system must respect small and medium-sized enterprises and protect the weak. He says he wants the next president to make his dreams come true.

Twenty-three year-old student Kang Eun-jeong, unlike the majority of younger voters, cast her ballot for Park and expects to see the country's first female president.

Kang says she knows her friends and colleagues have a different opinion about who should be president, but notes Park's father held the post for 16 years and his daughter “can do well as she has a lot of political experience.”

The incumbent, President Lee Myung-bak of the Saenuri Party, is limited to a single five-year term. He was elected in 2007.

The new president, who will take office February 25th, will confront a widening income disparity amid a slowing economy, soaring welfare costs for an aging population and the ever-present threat posed by North Korea.

During the campaign, Moon said he wanted to hold a summit with North Korea in the first year of his presidency. Park declared no such meeting could take place unless Pyongyang apologizes for military provocation it has conducted in recent years.

Moon wants modifications to the controversial free trade agreement with the United States while Park says it is generally satisfactory.

Both candidates support the long-standing military alliance with the United States.

Moon's campaign received a boost after an independent and a far-left candidate both dropped out.

You May Like

Sunni-Shi’ite Divide Threatens Middle East Stability

Analysts say ancient dispute that traces back to Islamic Revolution is fueling modern day unrest More

Shifting Demographics Lie Beneath Racial Tensions in Ferguson

As Missouri suburb morphed from majority white to majority black, observers say power structure remained static More

Video Artists Shun Russia's Profanity Law

Restriction is toughest since Soviet era, though critics reject move as patronizing and ineffective act of censorship in line with a string of conservative morality laws More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Native Bees May Help Save Cropsi
X
Deborah Block
August 22, 2014 12:23 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video Native Bees May Help Save Crops

U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video US Defense Officials Plan for Long-Term Strategy to Contain Islamic State

U.S. defense officials say American air strikes in Iraq have helped deter Islamic State militants for the time being, but that a broad international effort is needed to defeat the extremists permanently. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel warned Thursday that the group formerly known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL, is better organized, and financially and militarily stronger than any other known terrorist group. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Drug-Resistant Malaria Spreads in Southeast Asia

On Thailand’s border with Myanmar, also known as Burma, a malaria research and treatment clinic is stepping up efforts to eliminate a drug-resistant form of the parasite - before it spreads abroad. Steve Sandford reports from Mae Sot, Thailand.
Video

Video Gaza Conflict, Hamas Popularity Challenge Abbas

The Palestinian unity government of Mahmoud Abbas has failed to convince Hamas to agree to Egyptian-negotiated terms with Israel on a Gaza cease-fire. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports on what the Gaza conflict means for President Abbas, with whom U.S. officials have worked for years on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Video

Video Nigeria's 'Nollywood' Movie Industry Rolls in High Gear

Twenty years after its birth in a video shop in Lagos, Nigeria's "Nollywood" is one of the most prolific film industries on earth. Despite low budgets and whirlwind production schedules, Nigerian films are wildly popular in Africa and industry professionals say they hope, in the future, their films will be as great in quality as they are in quantity. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Lagos.
Video

Video UN Launches 'Biggest Aid Operation in 30 Years' in Iraq

The United Nations has launched what it describes as one of the biggest aid operations in 30 years in northern Iraq, as hundreds of thousands of refugees flee the extremist Sunni militant group calling itself the Islamic State. As Kurdish and Iraqi forces battle the Sunni insurgents, the fighting has forced more people to flee their homes. Kurdish authorities say the international community must act now to avert a humanitarian catastrophe. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Cambodian American Hip Hop Artist Sings of Personal Struggles

A growing underground movement of Cambodian American hip hop artists is rapping about the struggles of living in urban America. Most, if not all of them, are refugees or children of refugees who came to the United States from Cambodia to escape the Khmer Rouge genocide of the 1970s. Through their music, the artists hope to give voice to immigrants who have been struggling quietly for years. Elizabeth Lee reports from Long Beach, California.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid