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Park Won-soon wins election for Seoul mayor by 7 percent margin

SEOUL -- A civic activist backed by liberal opposition has won the by-election for Seoul mayor in a race seen as a barometer of public sentiment toward the conservative government.

South Korea's National Election Commission said Thursday that independent Park Won-soon beat ruling party candidate Na Kyung-won by a margin of 7 percent in Wednesday's vote.

Top potential presidential contenders from both liberal and conservative blocs had thrown their weight behind the candidates.

The by-election came after Oh Se-hoon resigned as Seoul mayor in August over his defeat in a citywide referendum on a free school lunch program. Park will serve out Oh's remaining tenure of 2 1/2 years.

South Korea is set to hold parliamentary and presidential elections next year.

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 Park Won-soon wins election for Seoul mayor by 7 percent margin 
Park Won-soon, who has been elected as the new Seoul mayor, waves to supporters as he arrives to work at City Hall in Seoul, Thursday, Oct. 27. South Korea's National Election Commission said Thursday that independent Park beat ruling party candidate Na Kyung-won by a margin of 7 percent in Wednesday's vote. (AP)

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