After months of turmoil, South Korea is holding a presidential election.
Last week, the country allowed its citizens to cast their ballots before election day. It’s the first time early voting has been introduced in the country.
As many as 3,500 polling stations have been installed across the county, including Incheon International Airport and main line train stations.
The election was called following the impeachment of Park Geun-hye in December.
She is currently standing trial accused of colluding with a friend to collect bribes from big business.
The allegations have pushed hundreds of thousands of demonstrators into the streets to demand her departure.
The election is considered a major test of instilling stability in the country, where corruption, inequality and youth unemployment are hot topics.
The current favourite is the Democratic Party candidate Moon Jae-in. One of his campaign promises is to renew talks with Pyongyang.
The country’s People’s Party candidate has been described as a kind of South Korean Emmanuel Macron, also in favour of starting reconciliation talks with North Korea.
Hong Joon-pyo, of the Freedom Party Korea, who is sometimes compared to Trump because of his vulgar language, his sexism, apparent homophobia and radical position in favor of the death penalty.
Also running are Sim Sang-jung, from the Party of Justice, and Yoo Seung-min from the conservative Bareun Party.
The new head of state will enter the country’s Blue House, where he or she will face several challenges.
Shin Yul, proffesor of political science and diplomacy at South Korea’s Myongji University, said:” The president will have more opponents than supporters, which will make running the government a challenge.
“The circumstances of this election are already tough as it came after the very tragic incident of the impeachment of the president.”
The new head of state will also have to face the growing threats from its neighbour to the north and strained relations with China due to South Korea’s anti-missile shield.
The President of South Korea serves a single five-year term.