Saenuri Party

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New Frontier Party
Chairman Hwang Woo-yea[1]
Spokesperson Cho Hae-jin
Chung Mi-kyung
Assembly leader Lee Hahn-koo[2]
Founded November 21, 1997 (1997-11-21)
Merger of New Korea
United Democratic (1996)
Headquarters 18, Gukhoe-daero 70-gil
Yeongdeungpo-gu, Seoul
Ideology Conservatism[3][4][5]
Political position Centre-right[6][7] to Right-wing[8][9][10]
International affiliation International Democrat Union
Colours Red, blue[11]
Seats in the National Assembly
156 / 300
Seats within local government
1,639 / 3,893
Politics of South Korea
Political parties
Saenuri Party
Hanja 새누리
Revised Romanization Saenuridang
McCune–Reischauer Saenuritang
Grand National Party
Hanja 한나라
Revised Romanization Hannaradang
McCune–Reischauer Hannaratang

The Saenuri Party (Korean: 새누리당, Saenuri-dang; English: New Frontier Party[12][13]) is a major conservative political party in South Korea. Until February 2012, it was known as the Grand National Party (한나라당 Hannara-dang). The party holds a majority of seats in the 19th Assembly, lasting from 2012 to 2016.


The party was founded in 1997 as a merger of United Democratic Party (1996) and New Korea Party. Its earliest ancestor was the Democratic Republican Party[14] under the rule of Park Chung-hee in 1963. Upon Park's death and at the beginning of the rule of Chun Doo-hwan in 1980, it was reconstituted and renamed as the Democratic Justice Party. In 1988, party member Roh Tae-woo introduced a wide range of political reforms including direct Presidential elections and a new constitution. The party was renamed in 1993, during the presidency of Kim Young-sam,[15] with the merger of other parties to form the Democratic Liberal Party (Minju Jayudang). It was renamed as the New Korea Party (Sinhangukdang) in 1995, and it then became the Grand National Party in November 1997 following its merger with the smaller United Democratic Party (1996) and various conservative parties.[16] Three months later, with the election of Kim Dae-jung of the leftwing Centrist Reformists Democratic Party as president, the party's governing role came to an end, beginning its first ever period in opposition, which would last ten years. In October 2012, the Advancement Unification Party merged with the Saenuri Party.[17]

Following the 2000 parliamentary elections, it was the single largest political party, with 54% of the vote and 147 seats out of 271.

The party was defeated in the parliamentary election in 2004 following the impeachment of President Roh Moo-hyun, gaining only 121 seats out of 299. The defeat reflected public disapproval of the impeachment which was instigated by the party. This was the first time in its history that the party had not won the most seats. It gained back five seats in by-elections, bringing it to 127 seats as of October 28, 2005.[18]

Current status[edit]

On December 19, 2007, the GNP's candidate, former Seoul mayor Lee Myung-bak won the presidential election,[19] ending the party's ten years period in opposition.

In the April 2008 general election, the GNP secured a majority of 153 seats out of 299 and gained power in the administration and the parliament as well as most local governments, despite the low turnout of votes.[20]

One of the main bases of popular support of the party originates from the conservative, traditionalist elite and the rural population, except for farmers. It is strongest in the Gyeongsang region. Former party head and 2007 presidential candidate Park Geun-hye is the daughter of former President Park Chung-hee who ruled from 1961 to 1979. Although Representative Won Hee-ryeong and Hong Jun-pyo ran for the party primary as reformist candidates, former Seoul mayor and official presidential candidate Lee Myung-bak gained more support (about 40%) from the Korean public.

The GNP suffered a setback in the 2010 local elections, losing a total of 775 local seats throughout the counties,[21] but remained as the most seats in the region.


GNP-affiliated politician, Oh Se-hoon, lost his mayoral position of Seoul after the Seoul Free Lunch Referendum.

The Grand National Party has celebrated its 14th anniversary on November 21, 2011 amid uncertainties from intra-party crises.[22]

The DDoS attacks during the October 2011 by-election have become a central concern of the GNP as it could potentially disintegrate the party leadership.[23]

Emergency Response Commission[edit]

The Hong Jun-pyo leadership system collapsed on December 9, 2011 and GNP Emergency Response Commission was launched on December 17, 2011, with Park Geun-hye as commission chairperson, to prepare coming up Legislative Election 2012 on April 11, 2012 and Presidential Election 2012 on December 19, 2012.[24]

There was a debate with Commission members about whether to transform the Grand National Party into a non-conservative political party or not, but Park said the GNP would never become non-conservative, and will follow the real value of conservatism.[25][26]


The GNP supports free trade and neoliberal economic policies. The GNP favors maintaining strong ties with the United States while distancing South Korea from North Korea. The party is also conservative on social issues; in the last election the president called homosexuality "abnormal" and opposed any legal recognition of same-sex couples.

Four Major Rivers Project[edit]

One of the GNP's important policies is to financially secure the The Four Major Rivers Project since President Lee Myung-bak is in the office. This project's budget disputes have sparked controversial political motions in the National Assembly for three consecutive years.[27]

Sejong City Project[edit]

The GNP has been less inclined toward the creation of a new capital city for South Korea, to be called Sejong City than the previous administration. As of 2012, the Saenuri Party has indicated some governmental offices will relocated to the new city, but not all.

Human rights activism[edit]

Saenuri Party has been very active in promoting the North Korean Human Rights Law, which would officially condemn the use of torture, public executions and other human rights violations in North Korea.[28] Saenuri representative Ha Tae Kyung is the founder of Open Radio for North Korea, an NGO dedicated to spreading news and information about democracy, which citizens of North Korea have little access to due to the government's isolationist policies.[29] In April 2012, Saenuri member Cho Myung-Chul became the first North Korean defector elected to the National Assembly.[30] In spring 2012, several Saenuri representatives took part in the "Save my friend" protests, organized to oppose China's policy of repatriating North Korean defectors, and expressed their solidarity with Park Sun-young's hunger strike.[31]


Generating favorable online comments[edit]

  • The GNP has records of secretly hiring and paying university students to generate online replies favorable to the GNP.[32]
  • GNP member Jin Seong-ho (진성호) formally apologized on July 2, 2009 for making a remark that "the GNP occupied Naver".[33] Naver is one of the biggest South Korean internet portals.
  • Seoul Metropolitan Election Commission reported unregistered Park Geun-hye's election camp run by Yun Jeong-hun to the Seoul Central Prosecutors' Office on charges of violating the public election law especially by using fake Twitter accounts and bloggers.[34] Yun Jeong-hun was a pastor and dismissed for inappropriate remarks such as anti-gay ones.

December 8, 2010 controversial bill-passing[edit]

  • The GNP passed the bill relating to the year 2011 national budget without the opposition parties' inputs on December 8, 2010.[35] It had caused legislative violence before. This process of passing the budget bill sparked controversy of potential illegality. Due to this incident, many South Korean political, academic and citizen groups expressed their outrage against current mainstream politics.[36] The reason for forceful passing of the bill is mainly due to the budget disputes in the controversial Four Major Rivers Project.[37]
  • Many Buddhists in South Korea criticized the budget bill on December 8, 2010 for neglecting the national Temple Stay program.[38] This has led the Jogye Order, the largest Buddhist order in South Korea, to sever ties with the GNP[39] and becoming financially independent without any funding from the government.[40]
  • The interns and the staffs working in the National Assembly officially complained on December 17 that their salary was missing after the passing of this bill.[41]

Inefficient public relations[edit]

  • The GNP was criticized for having an inefficient public relations that resulted fewer people voting for them during the 2010 local elections.[42]

Infiltration of opposition party[edit]

A Blue House official of the pro-GNP Lee Myung-bak government illegally infiltrated a party meeting of the opposition Democratic Party, on October 18, 2011.[43]

List of Chairpersons[edit]

  1. Cho Soon (November 21, 1997 – November 28, 1998)
    • Lee Han-dong (November 29, 1998 – August 30, 1998) (acting)
  2. Lee Hoi-chang (August 31, 1998 – May 12, 2002)
  3. Seo Cheong-won (May 14, 2002 – May 25, 2003)
  4. Choi Byeong-yul (May 26, 2003 – March 22, 2004)
  5. Park Geun-hye (March 23, 2004 – July 10, 2006)
  6. Kang Jae-sup (July 11, 2006 – July 3, 2008)
  7. Park Hee-tae (July 4, 2008 – September 7, 2009)
  8. Chung Mong-joon (September 7, 2009 – July 14, 2010)
  9. Ahn Sang-soo (July 14, 2010 – May 8, 2011)
  10. Hong Jun-pyo (July 4, 2011 – December 16, 2011)
  11. Park Geun-hye (December 17, 2011 – May 15, 2012) (Emergency Response Commission)
  12. Hwang Woo-yea[1] (15 May – Incumbent)

Election results[edit]

Presidential elections[edit]

Election Candidate Total votes Share of votes Outcome
1997 Lee Hoi-chang 9,935,718 38.7% Lost Red XN
2002 Lee Hoi-chang 11,443,297 46.5% Lost Red XN
2007 Lee Myung-bak 11,492,389 48.7% Elected Green tickY
2012 Park Geun-hye 15,773,128 51.6% Elected Green tickY

Legislative elections[edit]

Election Total seats won Total votes Share of votes Outcome of election Election leader
133 / 273
7,365,359 39.0% Increase13 seats; Opposition Lee Hoi-chang
121 / 299
7,613,660 35.8% Decrease24 seats; Opposition Park Geun-hye
153 / 299
6,421,727 37.4% Increase32 seats; Governing party Kang Jae-seop
152 / 300
9,130,651 42.8% Decrease1 seats; Governing party Park Geun-hye

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Lee Eun-joo (May 16, 2012). "Saenuri elects new leaders: Hwang Woo-yea of Park faction becomes its chairman". JoongAng Ilbo. Retrieved May 16, 2012. 
  2. ^ Lee Joo-hee; Bae Hyun-jung (May 9, 2012). "Pro-Park Lee elected Saenuri’s new floor leader". the Korea Herald. Retrieved May 9, 2012. 
  3. ^ Manyin, Mark E. (2010), U.S.-South Korea Relations, Congressional Research Service, p. 26 
  4. ^ Shin, Gi-Wook (2010), One Alliance, Two Lenses: U.S.-Korea Relations in a New Era, Stanford University Press, p. 208 
  5. ^ Peterson, Mark; Margulies, Phillip (2010), A brief history of Korea, Facts On File, p. 242 
  6. ^ Webster, Edward; Lambert, Rob; Beziudenhout, Andries (2011), Grounding Globalization: Labour in the Age of Insecurity, Blackwell Publishing 
  7. ^ Manyin, Mark E. (2003), South Korean Politics and Rising "Anti-Americanism": Implications for U.S. Policy Toward North Korea, Congressional Research Service 
  8. ^ "Tax overhaul", The Korea Times, February 27, 2012 
  9. ^ Hwang, Gyu-Jin (2006), Pathways to State Welfare in Korea: Interests, Ideas and Institutions, Ashgate, p. 47 
  10. ^ Oum, Young Rae (2008), Korean American diaspora subjectivity: Gender, ethnicity, nationalism, and self-reflexivity, ProQuest, p. 144 
  11. ^
  12. ^ Sang-Hun, Choe (February 9, 2012). "South Korea's Assembly Speaker, Park Hee-tae, Resigns Over Bribery Scandal". The New York Times. 
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^ [1]
  16. ^ [2] History of Democratic Liberal Party
  17. ^ [3] The Emergence of Advancement Unification Party into Saenuri Party
  18. ^ 한나라당 5곳 ‘싹쓸이’ …우리당 참패 April 30, 2005 한겨레
  19. ^ AFP: Bush congratulates South Korean president-elect Lee
  20. ^ [4] secured 153 seats out of 299
  21. ^ BBC: Setback for South Korea's president in local elections
  22. ^ Kim (김), Beom-hyeon (범현); Hwang Cheol-hwan (황철환) (November 21, 2011). "한나라 창당14년..탄핵후폭풍 후 최대위기". Yonhap News (in Korean). Retrieved November 25, 2011. 
  23. ^ Kim (김), Beom-hyeon (범현) (December 3, 2011). "與, '선관위 홈피공격' 악재에 대책 부심". Yonhap News (in Korean). Retrieved December 25, 2011. 
  24. ^ Kim, Eun-jung (December 19, 2011). "Park Geun-hye takes helms of struggling ruling party". Yonhap News. Retrieved January 5, 2012. 
  25. ^ Kim, Eun-jung (January 5, 2012). "Ruling party considers shifting away from core conservative values". Yonhap News. Retrieved January 5, 2012. 
  26. ^ Chung, Min-uck (January 5, 2012). "Ruling party to shed 'conservatism'". Korea Times. Retrieved January 5, 2012. 
  27. ^ 4대강에 발목잡힌 예산, 3년연속 강행처리 December 8, 2010 Yonhap News
  28. ^ Korean Broadcasting Service. 7 June 2012l |url= missing title (help). Retrieved July 3, 2012. 
  29. ^ . 2 March 2012l Retrieved 3 July 2012lwork=Daily NKllanguage=english.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  30. ^ CNN. April 10, 2012 |url= missing title (help). Retrieved July 3, 2012. 
  31. ^ Liberty in North Korea. March 7, 2012 |url= missing title (help). Retrieved July 3, 2012. 
  32. ^ 실체 드러난 한나라당 댓글 알바 April 4, 2008 MediaToday
  33. ^ 진성호 의원 '네이버 평정 발언' 공개 사과 July 2, 2009 PRESSian
  34. ^ Park Geun-hye’s Election Camp Accused of Using Fake Tweeters and Bloggers December 15, 2012 The Hankyoreh
  35. ^ 한나라당 새해 예산안 단독처리…野 '날치기' 강력 항의 December 8, 2010 NoCut News
  36. ^ '난장판 국회' 재연에 각계 분노·비난 폭발 December 8, 2010 Yonhap News
  37. ^ 정국 "혼돈 속으로"…예산안 강행처리 이유는 December 6, 2010 MoneyToday
  38. ^ 템플스테이 예산 삭감에 성난 불교계 December 9, 2010 한국일보
  39. ^ 조계종 “현 정부와 더이상 대화할 필요없다” December 13, 2010 경향신문
  40. ^ 조계종 "템플스테이 예산 요구않고 자립" December 17, 2010 Yonhap News
  41. ^ '이럴려고 몸싸움했나'…국회 보좌진 인턴 수당도 날아가 December 18, 2010 NoCut News
  42. ^ '말 실수에 글 실수'…연이은 '오버'에 한나라당 난감 July 27, 2010 NoCut News
  43. ^ Lee (이), Ji-eun (지은); Ahn Chang-hyeon (안창현) (October 18, 2011). "내곡동 사저·한미FTA 등 첨예한 대치 와중에… 청와대 직원, 민주당회의 ‘문자 중계’". The Hankyeoreh (in Korean). Retrieved October 22, 2011. 

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