Moon casts early vote for S.Korean prez election

South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Friday cast his ballot as the country began the two-day early voting for the March 9 presidential election.

Wearing a face mask and disposable gloves, Moon and First Lady Kim Jung-sook voted at a polling booth inside the Samcheong-dong community service centre near Cheong Wa Dae in Seoul, Yonhap News Agency reported.

Earlier in the day, Moon encouraged people to cast their ballots, saying that “as the sovereign of a democratic republic, I hope all people will participate in exercising sacred voting rights”.

Ruling Democratic Party candidate Lee Jae-myung and main opposition People Power Party’s Yoon Suk-yeol have also cast their ballots.

The presidential election comes as the nation is grappling with the worst wave of Covid-19 pandemic, driven by the highly transmissible Omicron variant.

Early voting is open to anyone who wishes to cast their ballot before Election Day.

Moon said those infected with the virus can also cast their ballots.

Polling stations open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.

Covid-19 patients and those in quarantine will be able to vote if they arrive at a polling station between 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. on Saturday.

More than 44 million people are eligible to vote in this year’s election.

This year’s presidential election is being held concurrently with by-elections for five parliamentary seats.

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