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S. Korea to get first female leader


South Korea’s presidential candidate Park Geun-Hye of the ruling New Frontier Party meets with the supporters in front of her house before leaving for the victory speech at party’s headquarters in Seoul. Pic:AFP

Seoul: The daughter of a former military ruler won South Korea's presidential election and will become the country's first female leader, saying she would work to heal a divided society.

The 60-year old conservative, Park Geun-hye, will return to the presidential palace in Seoul where she served as her father's first lady in the 1970s, after her mother was assassinated by a North Korean-backed gunman.

Unassailable lead
With more than 88 per cent of the votes counted, Park led with 51.6 per cent to 48 per cent for her left-wing challenger, human rights lawyer Moon Jae-in, giving her an unassailable lead that forced Moon to concede.

Her raucous, jubilant supporters braved sub-zero temperatures to chant her name and wave South Korean flags outside her house. When she reached her party headquarters, Park was greeted with shouts of "president".

 An elated Park reached into the crowd to grasp hands of supporters wearing red scarves, her party's colour. "This is a victory brought by the people's hope for overcoming crisis and for economic recovery," she told supporters at a rally in Seoul.

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