On December 19, 2012, Park Geun-Hye was elected as the first female and 18th President of the Republic of Korea.
Born on February 2, 1952, she dedicated her life to politics and serving her country. Prior to her presidential candidacy, Park Geun-Hye served as an elected member of the National Assembly and chairwoman of the ruling Saenuri Party.
The voter turnout for this year’s election was extraordinary, comprising 75.8 percent of eligible voters, with close competition between the two leading presidential candidates. The polls were opened from KST 6:00am – 6:00pm at 13,500 locations across the country.
Presidential elections in South Korea are held every five years under the first-past-the-post (FPTP) system, where the candidate with the most votes is elected to become the next president. By constitutional law, re-election of a former or serving president is prohibited. Incumbent president Lee Myung-Bak will end his five-year term in office on February 2013.
Lee Myung-Bak assumed his presidential duties in 2008 and since has been noted for his active contribution in global initiatives.
Prime Minister of Canada Stephen Harper congratulated president-elect Park Geun-Hye on her victory and thanked incumbent president Lee Myung-Bak for his service.
“On behalf of the Government of Canada, I would like to congratulate Park Geun-Hye on her victory and on being the first female to win presidential elections in South Korea.”
“Canada and South Korea enjoy a vibrant relationship underpinned by 50 years of diplomatic engagement and cooperation in international organizations such as the G-20.”
“I look forward to working with Park-Geun-Hye on further strengthening and diversifying these ties as we celebrate the Year of Korea in Canada and the Year of Canada in Korea in 2013. This includes working together to further enhance our trade and investment partnership in order to create jobs and prosperity in both our countries.”
“Canada will continue to stand with South Korea and other international partners with a view to securing peace and prosperity on the entire Korean Peninsula.”
“I also extend my appreciation to President Lee Myung-Bak for his many contributions to Canada-Korea relations.”
The president-elect will assume office at the Blue House in February 2013 following the presidential inaugural ceremony.