04/12/2012, 00.00
SOUTH KOREA
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Conservatives win elections and launch Park Geun-hye for presidency

by 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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