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Seoul mayor race kicks off, setting tone for presidential poll

Defeat for Moon's ruling party risks making president lame duck in final year

Park Young-Sun, right, of the ruling Democratic Party and opposition People Party leader Ahn Cheol-soo are campaigning to become mayor of Seoul in next month's election. (Source photos by EPA/Jiji and Yonhap/Kyodo) 

SEOUL -- The race to become mayor of Seoul -- South Korea's second most powerful elected office -- has kicked off, with the April 7 poll set to be a barometer for the next year's presidential election.

The ruling Democratic Party will be represented by Park Young-sun, a 61-year-old former minister for small- and medium-sized enterprises. She defeated four-term lawmaker Woo Sang-ho in a party primary on Monday, garnering 70% of votes from party members and citizens.

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