Moon Jae In, New President of South Korea’s

Moon Jae-in (문재인, 文在寅 1953~) is the 12th and current President of South Korea, and a former human rights attorney and student activist. A former chief-of-staff to the late President Roh Moo-hyun, Moon most recently served as the opposition leader of the Minjoo Party of Korea from 2015 to 2016 and a member of the 19th National Assembly. Previously, he was the Democratic United Party’s candidate for the 2012 presidential election after winning a majority in the party primaries, but losing narrowly to Park Geun-hye. He was elected to be the 12th president in the 2017 presidential election by a large plurality against two other major candidates.

Moon was considered the frontrunner to win Korea’s 2017 presidential election following the impeachment of President Park Geun-hye. He won the Minjoo Party’s nomination against fellow party members Ahn Hee-jung, Lee Jae-myung, and Choi Sung with 57% of the votes.

The general election originally had 15 announced candidates. Moon faced four other major party nominees during the election, including 2012 presidential rival and past party colleague Ahn Cheol-soo of the People’s Party and Hong Jun-pyo of the Liberty Korea Party. On May 10 2017, Moon ended his campaign by winning 41.1% votes (with 13,423,800 votes) to win the plurality to become the next President of South Korea.

Moon was sworn into office immediately after official votes were counted on May 10th, replacing Acting President and Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn. There was no transition period between the election and inauguration, unlike other presidential elections due to the nature of an election following a presidential impeachment. He will serve out the typical single five-year term with his presidential term concluding in 2022.


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