People cast their votes at a polling station during the presidential elections in Seoul, South Korea May 9, 2017. REUTERS/Kim Hongji
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South Koreans headed to voting stations on Tuesday to elect a new leader, with a strong turnout suggesting voters are eager to move on from a corruption scandal that brought down the former president and shook the political and business elite.Park is in jail, on trial, but denies any wrongdoing. She had decided not to cast a vote, South Korean media reported.The NEC forecasts total voter turnout reaching more than 80 percent, which would be the highest since President Kim Dae-jung was elected in 1997, when 80.7 percent of eligible voters cast ballots.The Democratic Party's Moon, who lost narrowly to Park in 2012, has criticized the two former conservative governments for failing to stop North Korea's weapons development. A Gallup Korea poll last Wednesday showed Moon with 38 percent support in a field of 13 candidates, with centrist Ahn Cheol-soo his nearest challenger on 20 percent.U.S. President Donald Trump has vowed to stop North Korea developing a nuclear missile that can hit the United States.North Korea would be keen to see a Moon victory.
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