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15 vie to become S. Korea's next president

All News 19:07 April 16, 2017

SEOUL, April 16 (Yonhap) -- Besides the five most-known candidates, 10 other people have launched official bids to become the country's next president in a number unseen before, the election watchdog said Sunday.

The National Election Commission (NEC) said a total of 15, including front-runner Moon Jae-in of the liberal Democratic Party of Korea and Ahn Cheol-soo of the center-left People's Party, have registered their candidacy for the May 9 presidential election as the two-day registration period ended earlier in the day.

The number broke an all-time record of 12 candidates set in 1960 and matched in 2007, according to the NEC.

With the end of the registration period, the election watchdog has also completed designating the order of the candidates on the ballot with the top spot given to Moon, followed by Hong Joon-pyo of the former ruling Liberty Korea Party and Ahn, it said.

Yoo Seung-min of the splinter conservative Bareun Party and Sim Sang-jeung of the progressive Justice Party also joined the race with their names in the fourth and fifth spots on the ballot, respectively, the NEC said.

The country's election law awards the spots on the ballot to the candidates based on the number of seats their parties hold in the National Assembly.

Moon's Democratic Party of Korea currently controls 119 seats with the former ruling party holding 93 seats. The People's, Bareun and Justice parties control 40, 33 and six seats, respectively.

Other candidates include Lee Jae-oh, a former lawmaker and confidante of ex-President Lee Myung-bak, and Rep. Cho Won-jin, formerly affiliated with the Liberty Korea Party.

Cho now represents the Saenuri Party comprised of former President Park Geun-hye's supporters. Saenuri is an old name for the Liberty Korea Party, which is now struggling to recover from the repercussions of the unprecedented corruption scandal involving Park.

The official campaign period for the election will begin Monday.

15 vie to become S. Korea's next president - 1


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