Today, there is a new President of South Korea.
His name is Lee Myung-bak, or Mr. Lee (as Korean family names are put first) and he used to be the Mayor of Seoul. As mayor, he helped "green-ify" Seoul by creating the Seoul Forest and reviving Cheonggyecheon, a stream passing though the downtown core. Mr. Lee is the conservative leader that 48.6% of Koreans want to fix their economy.
Yesterday, all Koreans had a day off from work so that they could vote. Over 60% of Koreans turned out to vote, which is the lowest in South Korean history. My classes also had the lowest turn out yet, as I was still working. Talking with those student who did show up, I found out much about Korean Politics.
Here are some interesting facts about politics in Korea:
-Did you know Korea has a President and a Prime Minister? Well, the President is the highest post one can achieve, while the Prime Minister is appointed by the President and assists him.
-There were 12 candidates for yesterday's election! Each candidate is given a number to campaign with: 1-12. Lee Myong-Bak was Number 2.
-The Number 8 candidate, Hun Kyoung-Young claimed to have an IQ of 430, promised to "transport" the UN Building to Seoul from New York, and would pay thousands of dollars (millions of won) to anyone who got married. Yeah. Mr. Huh also said he had the support of long-dead ex-president Park to marry Park Geun-Hye, an former female presidential nominee! Mr. Huh received 0.4% of the vote, which, amazingly, was higher than three other candidates...
-The official residence of the President of Korea is the Blue House. (Not to be confused with the White House!)
-Yesterday's election was marred by scandal, as Mr. Lee (the front-runner and eventual winner) was named in allegations of stock market fixing while he was head of the Hyondai Company.
End of KOREA FACTS! Ah, Politics....