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Moon stands as most favored candidate, followed by An, Hwang: poll

Moon Jae-in, former head of the Democratic Party, stood as the most favored presidential hopeful by South Koreans, a poll showed Sunday, as the country is widely expected to hold an early presidential election in May.

According to the poll conducted on Saturday and Sunday by Korea Research Center, commissioned by Yonhap News Agency and KBS, Moon received an approval rating of 29.9 percent. His standing remained almost unchanged from a similar survey conducted in February.

From left to right -- Moon Jae-in, former head of the Democratic Party; South Chungcheong Gov. An Hee-jung; Acting President and Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn; Seongnam Mayor Lee Jae-myung; Rep. Ahn Cheol-soo of the People's Party; South Gyeongsang Gov. Hong Joon-pyo; Rep. Yoo Seong-min of the Bareun Party (Yonhap)
From left to right -- Moon Jae-in, former head of the Democratic Party; South Chungcheong Gov. An Hee-jung; Acting President and Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn; Seongnam Mayor Lee Jae-myung; Rep. Ahn Cheol-soo of the People's Party; South Gyeongsang Gov. Hong Joon-pyo; Rep. Yoo Seong-min of the Bareun Party (Yonhap)

South Korea is set to hold an early presidential election as the Constitutional Court upheld the ouster of Park Geun-hye from the presidential office, acknowledging she abused her power to help her friend Choi Soon-sil pursue personal gains. Park was impeached by parliament in December.

South Chungcheong Gov. An Hee-jung, also from the Democratic Party, followed with 17 percent.

Acting President and Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn, who has not yet expressed his presidential ambition, posted 9.1 percent, falling significantly on-month from 11.2 percent posted in February.

Seongnam Mayor Lee Jae-myung of the Democratic Party and Rep.

Ahn Cheol-soo of the People's Party posted 9 percent and 8.4 percent, respectively.

South Gyeongsang Gov. Hong Joon-pyo of the Liberty Korea Party and Rep. Yoo Seong-min of the Bareun Party posted 1.9 percent and 1.6 percent, respectively.

The survey was conducted on 2,046 South Koreans with a margin of error of plus or minus 2.2 percentage points. (Yonhap)

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