|Presidential contenders from left, Bareun Party lawmaker Yoo Seung-min; People’s Party Ahn Ahn Chul-soo; former leader of Democratic Party of Korea Moon Jae-in; Seongnam Mayor Lee Jae-myeong and South Chungcheong Gov. An Hee-jung.
/ Graphic design by Cho Sang-won
By Lee Han-soo
While the Constitutional Court’s ruling has put an end to Park Geun-hye’s scandal-tarnished presidency, it also pulled the trigger on the race to decide the next landlord of Cheong Wa Dae.
Under the Constitution, the country will have to have a presidential election within 60 days of today, under the guidance of acting President and Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn. The deadline for the election is May 9.
Experts speculate May 9 as the most plausible date, with many calling it a “Cherry Blossom Election.”
The presidential candidates will have 23 days to campaign, which means parties will have 37 days to finalize candidates.
Moon Jae-in, former head of the Democratic Party, posted a record-high approval rating among presidential hopefuls, data showed Monday, while Hwang narrowed the gap with the frontrunner, according to the Realmeter poll.
By party, the Democratic Party posted 47.2 percent, the ruling Liberty Korea Party 14.4 percent, the People’s Party 10.7 percent, the Bareun Party 6.6 percent and the Justice Party 5.3 percent.