Last updated at: (Beijing Time) Friday, December 20, 2002
Roh Moo-hyun Becomes New President of S.Korea
Liberal reformer Roh Moo-hyun, candidate of the pro-government Millennium Democratic Party (MDP), defeated all his rivals in the South Korean presidential election, the National Election Commission (NEC) announced in the wee hours of Friday (local time).
Moo-hyun, candidate of the pro-government Millennium Democratic Party (MDP), defeated all his rivals in the South Korean presidential election, the National Election Commission (NEC) announced in the wee hours of Friday (local time).
Of the total votes, Roh garnered 12,014,277, or 48.9 percent, some 570,980 votes or 2.3 percentage points more than his biggest contender Lee Hoi-chang, candidate of the county's biggest opposition Grand National Party (GNP), according to the result revealed by the NEC around 03:22 (1822 GMT Thursday).
Roh and his wife Kwon Yang-sook emerged at the celebration of his victory Thursday night at his party's headquarters in central Seoul, delivering his thanks to his supporters.
Meanwhile, Lee Hoi-chang humbly accepted his second failure in presidential bid, saying he will respect the people's choice. Lee participated in the 1997 election but was defeated by the current President Kim Dae-jung.
Kim Dae-jung, the founder of the MDP, extended his congratulations to Roh via telephone Thursday night, saying he hoped Roh will be a good president.
Kim has maintained a neutral position throughout the campaign period and he will transfer his power to Roh Moo-hyun in February 2003.
Roh Moo-hyun is expected to work out a wide range of policies designed to create balanced growth of 7 percent and fairer distribution of wealth which will generate more jobs, according to local economic experts' positive prediction after his victory.
At the same time, political analysts said high on the agenda for the president-elect are some thorny problems, including the anti-American sentiment aroused by two South Korean young girls' death caused by US armored vehicle and the nuclear weapon issue of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea