Former prosecutor Yoon Suk-yeol has emerged the winner of South Korea’s bitterly contested election on Thursday, after a neck and neck race against ex-mayor and lawyer Lee Jae-myung.
After close to all of the ballots had been counted as of 5.30am local time on Thursday, Yoon, the conservative opposition candidate, edged out Lee with 48.6 per cent of the vote to 47.8 per cent. A formal announcement is expected later.
Lee of the ruling Democratic Party conceded defeat soon after.
“I congratulate the president-elect Yoon on his election,” he said. “I hope the president-elect will get over division and conflicts and open a new era of national unity and harmony.”
“This is a great victory by the people,” Yoon said on Thursday, adding he would work towards national unity and cooperate with the National Assembly, which is dominated by liberals.