S. Korea presidential polls in May

The National Election Commission convenes a meeting to discuss preparations and measures for the early presidential election expected in early May.
The National Election Commission convenes a meeting to discuss preparations and measures for the early presidential election expected in early May. PHOTO: EPA

South Korea will hold its presidential election on May 9, but Acting President Hwang Kyo Ahn has announced that he will not run, leaving the ruling party in a spot and boosting the opposition's chances.

The polling date was announced yesterday, five days after former president Park Geun Hye's impeachment.

Frontrunner Moon Jae In, former chairman of the main opposition Democratic Party, is the current favourite for the presidency. Opinion polls show him with an approval rating of more than 36 per cent .

The opposition camp's presidential hopefuls welcomed Mr Hwang's decision yesterday.

Mr Ahn Cheol Soo from the minor People's Party urged Mr Hwang to focus on leading the country now.

But his withdrawal leaves the ruling party with no strong candidate as it struggles with an approval rating of only 9 per cent.

SEE TOP OF THE NEWS: S. Korea's Acting President won't run in May 9 polls

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 16, 2017, with the headline 'S. Korea presidential polls in May'. Print Edition | Subscribe