SEUL – Whoever wins South Korea’s presidential election on Wednesday will face many serious challenges, including a sharp rise in housing prices, threats from North Korea with nuclear weapons and debates over how to cure the nation, a sharp split on ideological, gender and gender grounds.
Here’s what you need to know about the election of the world’s 10th largest economy.
WHAT IS SUPPLIED
The winner will take office on May 10 for a single five-year term. Incumbent Liberal President Moon Jae-in is prohibited by law from seeking re-election. The candidate who receives the most votes is declared the winner, even if the person does not receive the support of the majority.
The current electoral system was adopted in 1987 when the South Korean government, which then supported the military, abandoned mass pro-democracy protests and took extensive liberalization measures.
The election was reduced to disassembly between the candidate from the ruling Liberal Democratic Party Lee Zhe Meng and his conservative rival from the opposition Yun Suk Yol from the People’s Power Party. Both were criticized for their negative agitation and for failing to present a long-term vision of how to lead South Korea.
Lee is the former governor of the populous province of Gyeonggi, which surrounds Seoul, and Yun is a former attorney general who entered party politics last year.
WHO CAN VOTE
Approximately 44 million South Korean citizens aged 18 and over have the right to vote from the country’s population of about 52 million people. About 16 million of them had already voted in early voting last week.
Separately, about 161,820 voters living abroad have also already voted in voting booths set up in South Korean diplomatic missions. Tens of thousands of others on remote islands, nursing homes or courts voted by mail or fax.
On Wednesday, the sites are open from 6.00 to 19.30
Lee, who has often expressed nationalist views, hopes to secure a release from UN sanctions against North Korea to resume delayed inter-Korean economic cooperation projects. He also believes Seoul could act as a mediator between Washington and Pyongyang to revive dormant nuclear diplomacy.
Yun says he will seek to strengthen U.S. security commitments to deter North Korean aggression. He wants to strike preemptive strikes in the north if there are signs of an attack.
While Lee advocates balancing between Washington and Beijing – Seoul’s main security ally and its largest trading partner, respectively – Yoon has made it clear that strengthening the alliance with the United States will be at the heart of his foreign policy.
Both promised to offer economic assistance to the affected small business owners pandemic-related restrictionsprovide millions of public housing units across the country and create more jobs.
The conversation between Lee and Yun is connected with many strange accusations against the candidates and their families.
Young’s wife was forced to apologize for suspicions that she falsified her work experience by enrolling in teaching at the college. Lee’s wife also apologized for allegations that she privately used official funds and forced government officials to carry out her personal assignments, while her husband was the governor of Gyeonggi.
Yun attacked Lee over allegations that Lee is a central figure in a corrupt real estate development project launched in the city of Sonnam when he was mayor there. Lee and his associates tried to link Yun to the scandal, and accused the opposition candidate and his wife of being too dependent on shamanism, an ancient religious belief.
Voting on Wednesday will take place as outbreak of coronavirus infections. Patients with the virus and other quarantined persons are allowed to vote if the regular voting ends at 18.00. They are asked to vote in the voting booths, and voters will be equipped with gloves, masks, face shields and protective suits.
The organization of the voting process for carriers of the virus was crucial, as health authorities quickly expanded home treatment to save hospital resources. As of Monday, more than 1.15 million people with mild or moderate symptoms were asked to isolate themselves at home.
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