S.Korea’s Lee Seeks Primary Win in Presidential Race Overshadowed by Scandal | World News

By Josh Smith and Sangmi Cha

SEOUL (Reuters) – Lee Jae-myung was set to turn out to be the presidential candidate for South Korea’s ruling get together on Sunday, hoping to beat a property scandal and collect nationwide assist whereas conservative opponents commerce barbs over anal acupuncture and fortune tellers.

Lee, the governor of Gyeonggi province, was anticipated to seal his victory within the main to signify the Democratic Occasion main within the March 9 presidential election.

The main contender to amongst a fractured subject from the primary conservative Individuals Energy Occasion, Yoon Seok-youl, has been caught up in scandals of his personal – together with murky ties to an anal acupuncturist and accusations he depends on fortune-tellers.

“It was at most a single candidate who had such scandals, however the prime two frontrunners are each embroiled in scandals on this election, which exhibits South Korea is regressing politically,” mentioned Lee Jun-han, professor of political science at Incheon Nationwide College.

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The winners will vie to exchange President Moon Jae-in, who should step down because of time period limits.

Lee leads greater than 55% of the vote to his nearest rival’s 34% within the main ending on Sunday, which started early final month. Outcomes are anticipated round 6 p.m. (0900 GMT)

Dogged by a scandal involving a residential growth plan when he was mayor of Seongnam in 2015, Lee is searching for to focus to his agenda, together with a push for common fundamental revenue and extra reasonably priced housing amid skyrocketing property costs.

Prosecutors and police have been investigating the Seongnam mission amid controversy over Lee’s ties to a former official, who has been arrested on corruption costs associated to the deal.

Lee has denied any wrongdoing. His workplace didn’t reply to requests for remark.

Housing-related scandals are a specific sore spot for voters in South Korea, the place dwelling costs have soared past the attain of many. Lee’s get together has been broken by allegations of property hypothesis.

On the opposite facet, conservative Yoon – a former prime prosecutor who joined the opposition after gaining prominence throughout a political struggle with President Moon – was pressured in a televised debate final week to distance himself from an unlicensed anal acupuncturist.

Yoon denied figuring out the acupuncturist, and mentioned he solely “seldom” meets fortune tellers or shamans.

Yonhap news company mentioned prosecutors are investigating a political meddling scandal that presumably entails Yoon. It quoted him as calling the allegations a “political plot” to derail his candidacy.

Yoon has denied any wrongdoing whereas serving as a prosecutor. His marketing campaign didn’t reply to Reuters requests for remark.

His rival within the PPP main, Hong Joon-pyo, on Saturday known as a potential matchup between Lee and Yoon a “felony election” the place two outlaws will compete towards one another.

The conservatives made features in native elections in April because the Democratic Occasion was mired in scandals, however the main spats over issues like shamanism threaten their probabilities to capitalise within the common election, mentioned Yang Seung-ham, a longtime political analyst.

(Reporting by Josh Smith and Sangmi Cha)

Copyright 2021 Thomson Reuters. | S.Korea’s Lee Seeks Main Win in Presidential Race Overshadowed by Scandal | World News

Aila Slisco

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