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S.Korea to hold presidential election on May 9

Editor: Zhang Jianfeng 丨Xinhua

03-15-2017 14:01 BJT

SEOUL, March 15 (Xinhua) -- South Korea's home affairs ministry said Wednesday that a presidential election date was set on May 9, which will be designated as a temporary holiday.

Hong Yoon-shik, the minister of government administration and home affairs, announced it after attending the cabinet meeting.

A presidential election must be held within 60 days as the president is formally unseated. Former President Park Geun-hye was ousted on March 10 as the constitutional court unanimously upheld her impeachment motion.

Public officials who want to run for president are required to withdraw from public office until April 9, a date 30 days before the election which will last from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. local time.

Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn, who is serving as acting president, said during the cabinet meeting that he will not run for president as he needs to manage the presidential race fairly and handle state affairs.

Hwang has been seen as the best hope in the conservative camp as public support for Park and conservative politicians tumbled with the corruption scandal embroiling the ousted leader.

He has gained the highest approval scores in recent opinion polls despite a big difference compared with Moon Jae-in, frontrunner and former head of the biggest opposition Minjoo Party.

Hwang urged related ministries to make best efforts to enable the upcoming election to get clearer and fairer than ever.

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