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    » 04/12/2012, 00.00

    SOUTH KOREA

    Conservatives win elections and launch Park Geun-hye for presidency

    Joseph Yun Li-sun

    Surprise as government formation, Saenuri, gets a majority of seats in the National Assembly and paves the way for their candidate, a Catholic, for president in December. A source tells AsiaNews: "Daughter of the Korean dictator, she experienced a long inner struggle, and a conversion."

    Seoul (AsiaNews) - South Korea's general elections have confirmed the surprise lead of the Saenuri Party (currently in government) and have launched the nomination of Catholic Park Geun-hye for president next December. After two days of counting - in many districts the gap between majority and opposition did not exceed 2% - the Saenuri has emerged with 152 seats out of a total 300 in the National Assembly. The Democratic Party got 127 seats, while the Progressive Party obtained 13.

    The election results are a good test for the presidential vote and always represented a sort of verdict on the workings of government. Lee Myung-bak, the current Conservative leader, has not intervened directly and left the road open to Park, who set 120 seats as the "minimum target to be reached." Although close, the outcome has exceeded expectations and has reopened the race for the presidency, which many analysts had already given to the Democrats.

    An AsiaNews source confirms Park's intention to run: "She is Catholic, knows the country very well and was 'first lady' for a long time, although in the role of daughter and wife of a president. She has a solid relationship with the faithful, but talks to everyone : she left the race in 2008 for personal reasons, not political. "

    Daughter of Park Chung-hee, Korean dictator from 1963 to 1979, Geun-hye has a popularity rating of 34.9%. An electrical engineer, she has been at the "Blue House" since birth, when her mother was assassinated on the orders of North Korea, in 1974, instead she returned as first lady for her father until his assassination, which in 1979. Her father's assassin, a member of his staff, was recognized as a national hero.

    Park has experienced a long internal drama. According to AsiaNews sources "she knows the reality of crimes committed by her father only in his later years, but has not hesitated to condemn them. Buddhist by birth, she encountered the Church and to found refuge there: but she has not become a bigot or put her head in the sand. She knows she has a heavy name, but sincerely wants the good of her country. "

     

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    See also

    19/10/2012 SOUTH KOREA
    Presidential elections in Korea: If Park wins, we'll be going back centuries
    A Catholic source tells AsiaNews about the political challenge leading to the December elections: "The dictators' daughter is like her father: granitic, but also very short-sighted. The best thing would be a tandem between the other two, both very interested in the common good."

    26/11/2012 SOUTH KOREA
    Korea, the presidential elections "have become a struggle between good and evil"
    With the withdrawal of Independent candidate Ahn Cheol-soo, who has promised to support the Democrat Moon Jae-in, the contest for the vote on December 19 becomes a head-to-head challenge against the Conservative Party candidate, Park Geun-hye. The Executive Secretary of the Bishop's Conference: "On the one hand, there is the opportunity to move forward towards a better society; on the other, there's the specter of a wicked society."

    20/12/2012 SOUTH KOREA
    Church praying that Park “will do her best”
    For the bishop of Daejeon, the victory of conservative Park Geun-hye at the helm of South Korea "is one of the many signs of how God's [. . .] "thought" is "inscrutable." Catholic source says her election does not represent a major change. She is a woman but has no children. "When he was a dictator," her father, "was backed by half of the population."

    04/12/2012 SOUTH KOREA
    Presidential election: Ahn tells supporters to "vote for Moon"
    Former independent candidate makes first public appearance since pulling out, says he will build his "new politics" after the 19 December vote. Current President Lee Myung-bak hopes to see the election of conservative Park Geun-hye.

    12/11/2012 SOUTH KOREA
    Presidential elections in Korea, Ahn announces: I will join Moon
    The two Democratic candidates will form a joint front against the Conservatives and demand a ceiling on election expenses. Mystery still shrouds the candidate to challenge Park: The name will only be announced after November 25.



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