Yoon Suk Yeol, who is projected to be South Korea's next president, was until a year ago the nation's chief prosecutor, a position he quit after clashing with the government of current President Moon Jae In over its prosecutorial reform drive.

His fierce resistance to reforming the nation's powerful system of prosecution earned the career prosecutor support among conservatives as a "symbol" of opposition to Moon's liberal administration.

Former Prosecutor General Yoon Suk Yeol, the presidential candidate of South Korea's main opposition People Power Party, speaks at a press conference in Seoul on Jan. 11, 2022, ahead of the presidential election in March. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo

As a newcomer to politics, Yoon has been criticized for lacking a clear political vision other than opposing Moon's policies. But calling for a change of government, he successfully appealed to South Koreans unhappy with the government's failure to rein in skyrocketing housing prices.

Yoon was born in 1960 in Seoul to parents who were both university professors. After studying law at Seoul National University, he passed the bar exam in 1991 on his 10th attempt and became a prosecutor in 1994.

In 2013, Yoon became known to the public as a prosecutor unwilling to grovel before the powerful after being suspended from work for arresting an intelligence official without authorization from his superiors over an election interference scandal.

In 2016, Yoon was appointed to head a team of special prosecutors who investigated then President Park Geun Hye over corruption and abuse-of-power allegations. The conservative president was later removed from office.

After becoming prosecutor general in 2019 under the subsequent Moon government, Yoon clashed with Justice Minister Cho Kuk, a close aide to Moon, who had led the drive to reduce prosecutors' power.

Yoon aggressively investigated his family members over a slew of scandals involving them, deepening his rift with the Moon administration.

As the perception grew among the public that members of the Moon government were gaining unfair advantages while it preached fairness, conservatives began to express hopes for a potential presidential run by Yoon.

Yoon resigned as prosecutor general in March last year, announced his presidential bid in June and joined the main opposition People Power Party the following month. He won the party primary and became its presidential candidate in November.

Yoon and his wife Kim Kun Hee live with their four dogs and three cats.