SEOUL, South Korea – The Supreme Court ordered a vote recount Wednesday for South Korea's national election, a process that could overturn the victory of President-elect Roh Moo-hyun.
But officials at the neutral National Election Committee and both parties say such a result is very unlikely.
The order follows doubts about the accuracy of vote-counting machines used at polls across the country.
Roh, who is to assume the presidency next month, defeated opposition leader Lee Hoi-chang by a margin of 570,980 votes. Claiming miscounts, Lee's party filed a lawsuit with the Supreme Court.
The National Election Committee uses machines that simultaneously divide and count ballots cast for each candidate. They can count up to 13,200 ballots per hour.
The committee said the machines were used in other elections last year, with no miscounts reported.
The opposition party claimed errors were reported in some districts. In one case, 12 ballots for Lee were found mixed with a bundle of 100 ballots for Roh, it said.
Of the 24,784,963 votes cast, Roh won 12,014,277. The recount, which will begin before the end of January, will involve 10 million ballots cast at 80 electorates -- 17 of them in the capital, Seoul.