S. Korea's main opposition party selects Moon Jae-in as presidential candidate

Source: Xinhua| 2017-04-03 22:01:05|Editor: ying
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SEOUL, April 3 (Xinhua) -- The primary of South Korea's main opposition Minjoo Party to select an official presidential candidate ended Monday with a sweeping victory by Moon Jae-in, frontrunner in opinion polls and former head of the biggest party.

Moon has garnered a cumulative 57.0 percent of ballots in the four rounds of primaries, including Monday's gain of 60.4 percent in the Seoul and metropolitan areas, over the past eight days across the country.

The runner-up to former President Park Geun-hye in the 2012 presidential election will run again for presidency in the upcoming election scheduled for May 9.

South Korea had tended to hold a presidential election in December, but it was brought forward as Park was removed from office in a historic ruling on March 10 by the constitutional court to uphold an impeachment against her.

Moon, the former chief of staff to late President Roh Moo-hyun, was trailed by Ahn Hee-jung, governor of South Chungcheong province who gained a cumulative 21.5 percent of votes, and Seongnam city mayor Lee Jae-myung winning 21.2 percent of ballots.

The party primaries were open to all of voluntarily registered voters as well as party members. Unless Moon fails to win over half of the ballots, a run-off would have been held to field a sole candidate.

Moon said in his acceptance speech that the upcoming election will become fights between common sense and nonsense, between fairness and unfairness and future reformists and past evil forces.

He vowed to establish economy and security, while eradicating old evils like unfairness, corruption and inequality.

The People's Party, which defected away from the Minjoo Party, is scheduled to choose its presidential candidate Tuesday. Ahn Cheol-soo, former party chief and co-founder, is widely forecast to win the last remaining primary.

Other major parties already chose their candidates, including South Gyeongsang province governor Hong Joon-pyo of the former ruling Liberty Korea Party, Rep. Yoo Seong-min of the splinter conservative Righteous Party and Rep. Sim Sang-jung of the minor progressive Justice Party.