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S Korean presidential frontrunner widens lead in support rate

Xinhua | Updated: 2017-05-01 18:20

S Korean presidential frontrunner widens lead in support rate

Moon Jae-in, the presidential candidate of the Democratic Party of Korea attends the joint TV debate for the upcoming presidential election on April 28, 2017. [Photo/VCG]

SEOUL -- South Korea's presidential frontrunner more than doubled his runner-up in support rate, with about a week left before the May 9 presidential election.

According to a Realmeter survey released Monday, Moon Jae-in of the biggest Minjoo Party won 44.1 percent of support, far exceeding the 21.8 percent garnered by Ahn Cheol-soo of the minor centrist People's Party.

The result was based on a poll of 2,239 voters conducted from Friday to Saturday. It has 2.1 percentage points in a margin of error.

The gap between Moon and Ahn has recently widened on a controversy over Ahn's attitude in TV debates among the five major presidential candidates.

A presidential by-election is scheduled for May 9 after former President Park Geun-hye was impeached and arrested in March over corruption allegations.

Hong Joon-pyo of the former ruling Liberty Korea Party narrowed a difference with Ahn, winning 16.6 percent of approval rating. Support for Hong stemmed from conservative voters in their 60s or older, who are also the major support base for Ahn.

Sim Sang-jung of the minor progressive Justice Party ranked fourth with 8.6 percent of support, followed by Yoo Seong-min of the minor conservative Righteous Party who won 5.6 percent in approval scores.

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