Park Geun-hye, the daughter of late President Park Chung-hee, has emerged from a tight electoral race as South Korea’s first female president.

Ms. Park, of the ruling centre-right New Frontier Party, defeated Moon Jae-in of the main opposition Democratic United party in a close race by just over 3 percentage points.

“I will become the president who takes care of the public’s livelihoods by keeping my promises,” Ms. Park told supporters at Gwanghwamun Gate in central Seoul. “I will keep the public’s trust in mind and will make a new era in which everyone can fulfill their dreams”.

Mr. Moon conceded defeat after partial results revealed votes in favor of Ms. Park, who had won 51.6% of 98.2% ballots counted. Mr. Moon had 48% of the votes.

“I failed in fulfilling the public’s yearning for a regime replacement and new politics,” Mr. Moon said in a short concession speech. “I am sorry that I couldn’t keep my promises”.

Ms. Park pledged a strong alliance with the US, promoting “economic democracy” by reining in chaebol conglomerates and resuming dialogue with North Korea after relations deteriorated under Lee Myung-bak.