Moon Jae-in, candidate for the Minjoo Party, has won the election held on May 9 and became the 19th President of the Republic of Korea. With 99.8 percent of ballots counted as of 5:30 am on May 10, Moon was in first place with 41.1 percent of the vote (13,387,679), outpacing the runner-up Hong Joon-pyo by a large margin. Hong gained a total of 7,841,033 votes (24.1%).
The remaining three candidates, including Ahn Cheol-soo of the People's Party (21.4%), Yoo Seung-min of the Bareun Party (6.8%), and Shim Sang-jung of the Justice Party (6.2%), gained slightly less than 35 percent in total.
In an exit poll undertaken by the three TV stations including KBS, MBC, and SBS, Moon was expected to earn 41.4 percent of the votes. By region, Moon took the No. 1 position in all provinces and cities except in Daegu, North Gyeongsang and South Gyeongsang provinces. He won the most support in North Jeolla Province at 64.8 percent.
Meanwhile, Hong of the conservative Korea Liberty Party was ranked No. 1 in the southeast region. The victory of the former human rights lawyer was largely due to the deep disappointment with incompetence of the two conservative administrations for the past nine years that produced mass protests late last year and the impeachment of the sitting president in March this year. The high turnout of 77.2 percent that took young voters to the ballot box also helped him propel to presidency.
Mr. Moon appeared in an event held in a park near Seoul's Gwanghwamun at 11:45 pm on the 9th to celebrate his election win and said, "I will make sure to create a country that serves justice and respects people's rights. I will do my utmost to make this country a better place to live for ordinary people." He added, "I will be a president who worships people including those who didn't vote for me."