Unofficial tabulations indicate that South Korean President Chung Lee Park has won a third term in office by an overwhelming margin.
Unofficial tabulations indicate that South Korean President Chung Lee Park has won a third term in office by an overwhelming margin. With the official count more than three-quarters complete, he had a 900,000 vote lead over his nearest challenger, Dae-Jung Kim. The 53-year-old Park, who seized power in a 1961 armycoup, had been expected to run a close race against Kim. But the 45-year-old Kim was hit by a poor turnout of voters in key areas where he needed big victories. Kim's "New Democrats" appealed to the Central Election Management Commission to halt all vote tabulation due to alleged election frauds. Party leaders visited the commission headquarters in Seoul to complain that the ruling Democratic Republicans were stuffing ballot boxes to ensure Park's re-election.
Voters are believed to have been swayed by Park's pledge that he would step down in 1975 - a rebuttal of claims by Kim that the President wished to perpetuate his rule for life. The armed forces and the business community are both solid backers of Park. Parties had observers at polling and counting stations to ensure a fair vote. Thousands of self-appointed volunteers were also present to watch for fraud.