Early voting begins for South Korean presidential election

Seoul, Mar 4 (EFE).- Early voting for next week’s South Korean presidential election began at 3,552 polling stations on Friday with the two main contenders neck-to-neck in the polls.

The two favorites to lead the country for the next five years both cast their votes: the liberal Lee Jae-myung in Seoul and the conservative Yoon Suk-yeol in the southeastern city of Busan.

The current president, the liberal Moon Jae-in, who is not allowed by the country’s constitution to stand for re-election, also cast his vote in Seoul ahead of the Mar. 9 election day.

Although many polls place voter intention for the two main candidates at around 40 percent, some give an advantage of around 5 points to Yoon after he merged his candidacy with that of centrist Ahn Cheol-soo, who was polling third with about 10 percent support.

Early ballot casting for the 44 million South Koreans eligible to vote in the upcoming polls will take place on both Friday and Saturday.

Turnout during the first five hours after the polling stations opened stood at 5.38 percent, according to the National Electoral Commission — a record figure since nationwide early voting was introduced in 2014.

This points to the possibility of a high final voter turnout due to a close race. EFE


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