South Korea’s ruling party overwhelmingly voted for the daughter of an assassinated dictator to be its presidential candidate on Monday, the first time a major party has chosen a woman to run for the post.
Veteran politician Park Geun-Hye — whose mother was killed by a pro-North Korean agent — secured a land slide 84 percent of the vote to easily see off four male challengers at the primary of the conservative New Frontier Party.
Opinion polls show her as current favourite to win the presidency in the December 19 vote.
Ms. Park, now 60, had narrowly lost out to Lee Myung-Bak in the party’s 2007 primary. Mr. Lee went on to become President but the country’s leaders are restricted to a single five-year term.
Ms. Park is the daughter of Park Chung-Hee, who seized power in a coup in 1961 and was assassinated by his spy chief in 1979. Her father won wide respect for transforming the poor war-ravaged nation into an economic juggernaut, but is also reviled in some quarters for his human rights abuses. She also lost her mother to a gunman, a pro-North Korean agent who shot the first lady in 1974 while aiming for the President.
North Korea has lashed out at Ms. Park, even though she has distanced herself somewhat from Mr. Lee’s hard line on cross-border relations. — AFP