Koreans will be waking up with Moon Jae-in as their new President:
Moon Jae-in, the presidential candidate of the liberal Democratic Party, speaks to his supporters and party officials at the National Assembly after an exit poll showed him set to win South Korea’s presidential election held May 9, 2017. (Yonhap)
Moon was estimated to have garnered 41.4 percent of all votes, according to the exit poll conducted by three major local broadcasters — MBC, KBS and SBS.
The front-runner was followed by Hong Joon-pyo of the conservative Liberty Korea Party with 23.3 percent.
The outcome of the exit poll was announced as the one-day voting came to an end at 8 p.m.
Apparently seeing no possibility of the actual outcome of the vote being any different from the exit poll, Moon said his election, if confirmed, would mark the people’s and the party’s victory. [Yonhap]
What surprised me about this election was how far the software mogul and populist candidate Ahn Cheol-soo dropped by getting 21% of the vote when at one point in the campaign it appeared he was challenging Moon Jae-in’s polling numbers. Something else surprising is how well the conservative candidate Hong Joon-pyo did considering the drag that the scandal plagued former President Park Geun-hye created for conservative candidates.
I think what this means that instead of conservative voters rallying around Ahn Cheol-soo to deny Moon an election victory, they instead voted for Hong. Hong and Ahn’s numbers together would have been enough to defeat Moon.
Here is what Moon Jae-in had to say about his election victory:
Seemingly moved by the overwhelming support, he threw his hands up to the sky and gave his symbolic thumbs-up gesture, prompting thunderous applause from party members and supporters there.
“This crushing victory was expected and is a victory of longing,” Moon told jubilant party members. “‘I will achieve reform and national unity, the two missions that our people long for.”
He went on: “The results will come in hours, but I truly believe that today is the day that opens the gateway to a new Korea. I will embody the public’s passion. Your sweat and tears will never be forgotten within me.” [Korea Times]
I am not sure what the new Korea is going to look like, but everyone will find out over the course of the next five years of Moon Jae-in’s presidency.