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Moon Jae-in speaks at a party rally on Monday.

Moon wins presidential ticket of Democratic Party

South Korea (The Korea Herald) -- Presidential front-runner Moon Jae-in was nominated Monday to lead the liberal Democratic Party in the May 9 presidential election after making a clear sweep of all four rounds in the party primary.

The former chief of the nation's largest party avoided a run-off by scoring more than a majority of ballots cast in the primary. Otherwise his rival could have teamed up to challenge him in an additional round of voting.

South Chungcheong Province Gov. An Hee-jung finished second, followed by Seongnam City Mayor Lee Jae-myung. The in-house race also involved Goyang City Mayor Choi Sung.

Moon, a former human rights lawyer and chief aide to the late former liberal President Roh Moo-hyun, calls for the restoration of inter-Korean dialogue and cooperation and expanded government spending for the welfare of low-income citizens. With his nomination, the stage is nearly set for the presidential election with only the People's Party still to choose a candidate.

The centre-left party is set to wrap up its primary on Tuesday, when its co-founder and former chief Rep. Ahn Cheol-soo was widely expected to emerge as the winner. The former ruling Liberty Korea Party has named South Gyeongsang Province Gov. Hong Joon-pyo as its standard-bearer. The conservative splinter Bareun Party has picked Rep. Yoo Seong-min as its candidate. Rep. Sim Sang-jung has been nominated for the minor progressive Justice Party.

(Latest Update April 4, 2017)

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