Korea to hold presidential election on May 9

The date for Korea’s presidential election
has been set for May 9th. An unprecedented event, as it comes on the
heels of Park Geun-hye’s impeachment. Officials are already working to ensure it
is conducted fairly. In related news, Acting President Hwang Kyo-ahn
announced he will not throw his hat in the ring, in part to ensure the smooth operation
of state affairs. Connie Kim starts us off. Korea will select a new leader after Park
Geun-hye was impeached last week. The interior ministry announced the highly
anticipated election date following a Cabinet meeting on Wednesday. “The government has decided to hold the 19th
South Korean presidential election on May 9th. The government has also designated Election
Day as a holiday so that citizens can vote at their convenience.” According to the interior ministry, this is
an unprecedented situation given the short period of time in which the election must
be held. According to the Constitution, a new president
must be selected within 60 days of a leadership vacancy. May 9th is the last day of that period. The date was also chosen in consideration
of two major national holidays — Buddha’s Birthday and Children’s Day — with the hope
of bringing as many voters to the polls as possible. The election date announcement was followed
by another major announcement from Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn, who declared he won’t be running
in the election… so he can focus on his responsibilities as acting president. “I’ve come to the conclusion that I should
not delay or neglect my responsibility to administer state affairs and respond to potential
threats. For the stability of state affairs and to
ensure a fair election, I’ve decided that it is inappropriate for me to run in the election.” . Hwang had emerged as a top contender for the
conservatives after he became acting president in December. “With less than two months until voters go
to the polls, the country’s political parties are expected to do all they can to reach out
to scandal-weary citizens who are seeking a fresh start for the country. Connie Kim, Arirang News.”

Stephen Childs

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