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Conservative Park Geun-hye Wins South Korean Presidential Election

The dictator's daughter wins a democratic election.

11:18 AM, Dec 19, 2012 • By ETHAN EPSTEIN
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Park Geun-hye has been elected South Korea's first female leader. The Korea Herald reports:

The 60-year-old candidate of the ruling Saenuri Party won the race by a larger margin than those predicted by the most recent opinion surveys and exit polls.  She beat progressive rival Moon Jae-in of the Democratic United Party, who campaigned for more drastic reform in local conglomerates and a sharper boost in welfare spending. Park won with 51.6 percent of the votes against Moon’s 48 percent as of 12:20 a.m. with 90.1 percent of the votes counted as of press time.

Park, the daughter of the assassinated military dictator Park Chung-hee, who ruled South Korea from 1961 to 1979, overcame a number of challenges in being elected, including bitter memories of her father's human rights abuses, dissatisfaction with the country's current conservative president, and Korean society's less than stellar record on sexual equality. In defeating a stridently leftist opponent, Park's victory ensures that South Korea will retain its close ties to the United States, pursue growth-oriented economic policies, and maintain a tough line on North Korea. You can read more about this here

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