South Korea has elected its first female president. The current president, Lee Myung Bak, will end his five-year term next year. Park Geun Hye is the daughter of the late President Park Chung Hee, who is highly credited with the economic progress of the country.
This is the second time that I participated in the presidential election. Unlike the first time, I didn’t go to the polling place early. It only took me three minutes (I used my phone’s timer) from the time I arrived at the polling place to the time I left the area. It was a family affair as my husband and I voted at the same time. We just brought the paper sent by the electoral commission. The officer checked my ID and asked me to sign. I was given two ballots, one for the President and another for Seoul’s Education Chief. I stamped my choice on the ballot and dropped the paper in the box. That was it! No lines! No waiting!
It was freezing on election day with temperature as low as -6 in the afternoon. The voter turnout was a high 75.2% of the voting population. Before the day was over, more than 90% of the votes have been counted and Park Geun Hye has been declared by the major television stations as the winner. It was a very close race.
I can only describe the elections in Korea in three words: well-organized, non-violent and reliable.
In the election package that were sent to us, the wealth (statements of assets, liabilities and net worth) of the the candidate and his immediate family is clearly stated on their own brochure. The campaign is very simple and I don’t think they spent a lot on materials. I often just see the candidates wearing photo etched pins but nothing too outstanding.