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SOUTH KOREA 19 Dec 2012 South Koreans vote for president
The winner of South Korea’s presidential election will take over from President Lee Myung Bak, whose non-renewable term of five years ends in F

December 19, 2012 - NULL

SOUTH KOREA 19 Dec 2012 South Koreans vote for president
The winner of South Korea's presidential election will take over from President Lee Myung Bak, whose non-renewable term of five years ends in Feb 2013. The front runner is Park Geun Hye, the 60-year-old daughter of the late president Park Chung Hee. She led the ruling New Frontier Party, the renamed Grand National Party, to a majority in April parliamentary elections. If she wins she is expected to follow the policies of her father, the country's longest-running dictator, who is credited with the country's sustained economic

SOUTH KOREA 19 Dec 2012 South Koreans vote for president
The winner of South Korea's presidential election will take over from President Lee Myung Bak, whose non-renewable term of five years ends in Feb 2013. The front runner is Park Geun Hye, the 60-year-old daughter of the late president Park Chung Hee. She led the ruling New Frontier Party, the renamed Grand National Party, to a majority in April parliamentary elections. If she wins she is expected to follow the policies of her father, the country's longest-running dictator, who is credited with the country's sustained economic boom.
The Bloomberg news service points out that his export-driven growth policies might not work as well for his daughter because the global recession means the country faces a tougher market for its products. With falling demand for the exports, the economy is suffering -- the Wall Street Journal reported in June that the Ministry of Strategy and Finance cut the country's economic-growth forecast for 2012 to 3.3 per cent from its earlier projection of 3.7 per cent, though the ministry expects the economy to expand 4.3 per cent in 2013. Both the ruling and opposition parties see job creation and improving the welfare system as top campaign issues.

The Democratic United Party, the country's second biggest party, and other parties are expected to choose candidates later in the year. They will come down on one side or the other of the recent almost-security pact with Japan and South Korea's relations with both North Korea and China. The ruling party has been softer than some South Koreans would like in relations with all three, and corruption scandals have tarnished its image. Some of Park's advantage going forward will depend on how she handles the corruption issue and the foreign relations challenges.

Some of Lee's closest aides and political allies have been convicted or put on trial in the savings bank scandal.
Lee defeated Park in the 2007 election. (Written July 2012)

RELATED READING:
South Korea's Election Paves the Way for a New Presidential Hopeful (Time 22 Apr 2012)
http://world.time.com/2012/04/11/south-koreas-election-paves-the-way-for-a-new-presidential-hopeful/#ixzz1zaXkhQ7q|
South Korea president's brother quizzed over banking graft scandal (Reuters 2 Jul 2012)3
http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/07/03/us-korea-politics-corruption-idUSBRE86204A20120703

Date written/update: 2012-12-19