The News
The News
Sunday 22 of May 2022

South Koreans Begin Early Voting to Replace Ousted Park


A South Korean soldier comes out of a polling booth to cast his early vote for the May 9 presidential election at a local polling station in Seoul, South Korea,photo: AP/Lee Jin-man
A South Korean soldier comes out of a polling booth to cast his early vote for the May 9 presidential election at a local polling station in Seoul, South Korea,photo: AP/Lee Jin-man
Park is currently jailed at a detention center near Seoul awaiting her trial on allegations that she extorted money from businesses and took kickbacks from some of those companies

South Koreans began early voting Thursday in the election to replace ousted President Park Geun-hye.

Early voters can cast ballots Thursday and Friday at about 3,510 polling stations across the country before the election next Tuesday, the National Election Commission said in a statement.

It’s South Korea’s first presidential election with early voting after introducing it for parliamentary and mayoral elections in recent years, the statement said.

Pre-election surveys show liberal candidate Moon Jae-in comfortably leading his two main rivals — a centrist and a conservative.

The winner will be sworn in as the new president immediately, forgoing the usual two-month transition. Park’s impeachment and removal from office changed South Korea’s election schedule, so the new president will serve one full five-year term.

Park is currently jailed at a detention center near Seoul awaiting her trial on allegations that she extorted money from businesses, took kickbacks from some of those companies and committed other wrongdoing, all in collaboration with a longtime confidante. The trial is to formally start later this month.

A commission-run website showed about 4 million people had voted by midafternoon. South Korea has 42,479,710 eligible voters, according to the election commission.