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Candidate cleared of allegations

December 05, 2007|From Times Wire Reports

South Korean prosecutors cleared the favorite in South Korea's presidential race of allegations of stock price manipulation and securities fraud.

Political analysts have said that if candidate Lee Myung-bak emerges from the investigation unscathed, he is all but guaranteed of winning the Dec. 19 election.

The former top executive with the Hyundai Group, who has pledged to roll back regulations on businesses, has a support rate of about 40%, more than 20 percentage points ahead of his closest rival.

Opinion polls show most voters are fed up with the outgoing liberal government of President Roh Moo-hyun and like his political heirs even less.

South Korean presidents serve for a single, five-year term.

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