1997 South Korean presidential election

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1997 South Korean presidential election

← 1992 19 December 1997 2002 →
  Kim Dae-jung (Cropped).png Lee Hoi-chang (2010).jpg
2006년 11월 9일 국회의원 이인제.jpg
Nominee Kim Dae-jung Lee Hoi-chang Lee In-je
Party National Congress Grand National New National Party
Popular vote 10,326,275 9,935,718 4,925,591
Percentage 40.3% 38.7% 19.2%

South Korean presidential election 1997.svg
Results by province and city

– Kim Dae-jung

– Lee Hoi-chang

President before election

Kim Young-sam
Grand National

Elected President

Kim Dae-jung
National Congress

Presidential elections were held in South Korea on 19 December 1997. The result was a victory for opposition candidate Kim Dae-jung, ending almost 36 years of conservative rule.[1] When he took office in 1998, it also marked the first time in Korean history that an incumbent government peacefully surrendered power to the opposition.


National Congress for New Politics[edit]

The NCNP National Convention was held on 19 May at Olympic Gymnastics Arena. Kim Dae-jung, a former 6-term lawmaker from South Jeolla, was nominated for president, defeating Chyung Dai-chul, a former 4-term lawmaker from Seoul.[2]

Candidate Delegates %
Kim Dae-jung 3,223 78.04
Chyung Dai-chul 907 21.96
Invalid/blank votes 27
Total 4,157 100

New Korea Party[edit]

The ruling New Korea Party's presidential nominating convention took place on 21 July at Olympic Gymnastics Arena, during which former Prime Minister Lee Hoi-chang defeated former Gyeonggi governor Lee In-je after two rounds of voting and became the party's nominee.[3]

Candidate First round Second round
Delegates % Delegates %
Lee Hoi-chang 4,963 41.13 6,922 59.96
Lee In-je 1,776 14.72 4,622 40.04
Lee Han-dong 1,771 14.68
Kim Deok-ryong 1,674 13.87
Lee Soo-sung 1,648 13.66
Choi Byung-ryul 236 1.96
Total 12,068 100 11,544 100

United Liberal Democrats[edit]

The ULD National Convention held on 24 June at Olympic Gymnastics Arena overwhelmingly nominated 8-term lawmaker Kim Jong-pil from South Chungcheong for president.[4]

Candidate Delegates %
Kim Jong-pil 2,575 82.29
Han Young-soo 554 17.71
Total 3,129 100

Democratic Party[edit]

On 11 September, the Democratic Party, once the premier opposition to the New Koreans but a fringe party ever since the defection of Kim Dae-jung's faction in 1995, nominated Seoul mayor Cho Soon for president.[5]

New National Party[edit]

On 4 November, former NKP politicians unhappy with Lee Hoi-chang founded the New National Party and nominated Lee In-je for president. This was after the scandal regarding Lee Hoi-chang's sons being excused from the military service hit the news cycle and brought Lee's popularity down.[6]


Anti-Ruling Party Coalition: the "D.J.P." Alliance[edit]

Kim Dae-jung, or "D.J." and Kim Jong-pil, or "J.P." agreed on 4 November to form an alliance against their common enemy, Lee Hoe-chang. In this agreement, JP announced to withdraw his bid for president to endorse DJ, and in turn DJ would appoint JP as the prime minister once elected president. The two Kims also agreed to revise the Constitution after the election from presidential system to parliamentary system, and the NCNP and ULD would cooperate on different issues as a coalition government.[7]

Anti-DJP Coalition: the Grand National Party[edit]

On the other hand, needing a breakthrough as Kim Dae-jung's popularity soared, Lee Hoe-chang and Cho Soon also agreed to combine forces. On 21 November, the New Korea Party and Democratic Party merged into one party, and was founded as the Grand National Party. Cho Soon was made the chairman of the party, and Lee Hoe-chang the candidate for president.


Candidate Party Votes % of votes
Kim Dae-jung National Congress for New Politics (새정치국민회의) 10,326,275 40.3%
Lee Hoi-chang Grand National Party (한나라당) 9,935,718 38.7%
Lee In-je New National Party (국민신당) 4,925,591 19.2%
Kwon Young-ghil People's Victory for 21st century (건설국민승리21) 306,026 1.2%
Huh Kyung-young Republican Party (공화당) 32,918 0.2%
Shin Jeong Yil Unified Korea Party (한주의통일한국당) 11,901 0.2%
Kim Han-sik Honest Politics Unite 5,714 0.2%
Invalid ballots 400,195 0.6%
(Total electorate: 32,290,416 - Turnout rate: 80.7%) Total 26,042,633 100%
regions · provinces · cities Kim Dae-jung (Cropped).png Lee Hoi-chang (2010).jpg NNP
Kim Dae-jung
Lee Hoi-chang
Lee In-je
Sudogwon Seoul 44.9% 40.9% 12.8%
Incheon 38.5% 36.4% 23.0%
Gyeonggi 39.3% 35.5% 23.6%
Gangwon 23.8% 43.2% 30.9%
Chungcheong Daejeon 45.0% 29.2% 24.1%
Chungcheongbuk 37.4% 30.8% 29.4%
Chungcheongnam 48.3% 23.5% 26.1%
Gwangju 97.3% 1.3% 0.7%
Jeollabuk 92.3% 4.5% 2.1%
Jeollanam 94.6% 3.2% 1.4%
Busan 15.3% 53.3% 29.8%
Ulsan 15.4% 51.4% 26.7%
Daegu 12.5% 72.7% 13.1%
Gyeongsangbuk 13.7% 61.9% 21.8%
Gyeongsangnam 11.0% 55.1% 31.3%
Jeju 40.6% 36.6% 20.5%

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "IFES Election Guide | Elections: Korea President 1997". www.electionguide.org. Retrieved 2017-04-25.
  2. ^ http://news.joins.com/article/6212474
  3. ^ 이인용,김지은. "신한국당 대통령 후보 이회창 당선[김상수]". imnews.imbc.com (in Korean). Retrieved 2018-04-24.
  4. ^ http://imnews.imbc.com/20dbnews/history/1997/1979728_19482.html
  5. ^ http://imnews.imbc.com/20dbnews/history/1997/1768728_19482.html
  6. ^ http://news.donga.com/3/all/19971104/7296924/1
  7. ^ http://imnews.imbc.com/20dbnews/history/1997/1770584_19482.html