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S. Korea’s ruling party picks Park as presidential candidate

- Associated Press - Monday, August 20, 2012

SEOUL (AP) — The eldest daughter of former authoritarian President Park Chung-hee has been chosen as South Korea's conservative ruling party's presidential candidate.

The Saenuri Party said Park Guen-hye won in a landslide on Monday.

The 60-year-old Ms. Park was widely expected to beat the four other candidates. She is trying to become the country's first female president.

Recent surveys show Ms. Park leading other potential candidates for the December elections. Current President Lee Myung-bak ends his term early next year.

Ms. Park's father ruled for 18 years until he was assassinated by his intelligence chief in 1979. His supporters respect him for leading South Korea's meteoric economic rise after the 1950-53 Korean War.

Mr. Park's critics accused him of rewriting the constitution to give himself dictatorial powers and jailing those who disagreed with him.

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