South Korea’s President-elect, Park Geun-hye, has said her victory will help the country’s economy recover. Ms Park, the daughter of former dictator Park Chung-hee, defeated her liberal rival Moon Jae-in. She will be South Korea’s first female leader.
‘Split almost equally’
Ms Park, 60, will replace her party colleague Lee Myung-bak. He is stepping down as the law requires after his five-year term. Combined figures from the networks released after polls closed gave Ms Park 50.1% of the vote over Mr Moon’s 48.9%.
Economic growth has fallen to about 2% after several decades in which it averaged 5.5%. With the country having split almost equally along party lines, the BBC’s Seoul correspondent Lucy Williamson says Ms Park will have to work hard to improve relations with her detractors.
‘More engagement with Pyongyang’
Mr Moon of the Democratic United Party is a former human rights lawyer who served under former President Roh Moo-hyun. He was briefly jailed by Ms Park’s father in the 1970s. Both candidates put forward broadly similar policies, promising to boost social welfare spending, close the gap between the rich and poor and rein in the family-run giant conglomerates known as chaebol.
The issue of North Korea did not feature heavily in the campaign despite its recent rocket launch. Both candidates promised more engagement with Pyongyang – though in Ms Park’s case, more cautiously than her rival.
What positive changes could Park Geun-Hye bring to South Korea during her term as President? Do you think she will be successful in her engagement efforts with Pyongyang?
Source: BBC News
Image: Times Colonist