Elections in South Korea

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This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
South Korea
Constitution

Elections in South Korea are held on national level to select the President and the National Assembly. Local elections are held every four years to elect governors, metropolitan mayors, municipal mayors, and provincial and municipal legislatures.

The president is directly elected for a single five-year term by plurality vote. The National Assembly has 300 members elected for a four-year term, 253 in single-seat constituencies and 47 members by proportional representation. Each individual party willing to represent its policies in the National Assembly is qualified on the legislative (general) election if: i) the national party-vote reaches over 3.00% on proportional contest or ii) more than 5 members of the party are elected from each of their first-past-the-post election constituencies.[1]

Since the 2016 legislative elections, South Korea has a three-party system, with two dominant parties and one major third party.[2][3]

Schedule[edit]

Election[edit]

Position 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Type Presidential (December) Gubernatorial (June) None National Assembly (April) None Gubernatorial (June)
Presidential (December)
President President None President
National Assembly None All seats None
Provinces, cities and municipalities None All positions None All positions

Inauguration[edit]

Position 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023
Type Presidential (February)
Gubernatorial (July)
None National Assembly (July) None Gubernatorial (July) Presidential (February)
President February 25 None February 25
National Assembly None July 1 None
Provinces, cities and municipalities July 3 None July 3 None

Latest elections[edit]

2016 legislative election[edit]

e • d Summary of the 13 April 2016 South Korean National Assembly election results[4][5]
Parties Local seats ± Block seats ± Constituency votes  % PR block votes  % Total seats ±
Minjoo Party of Korea (더불어민주당) (MPK) 1 110 Increase 4 13 Decrease 8 8,881,369 37.0% 6,069,744 25.5% 123 Decrease 4
Saenuri Party (새누리당) (SP) 2 105 Decrease 25 17 Decrease 10 9,200,690 38.3% 7,960,272 33.5% 122 Decrease 35
People's Party (국민의당) (PP) 25 (new) 13 (new) 3,565,451 14.9% 6,355,572 26.7% 38 (new)
Justice Party (정의당) (JP) 3 2 Decrease 5 4 Decrease 2 395,357 1.6% 1,719,891 7.2% 6 Decrease 7
Christian Liberal Party (기독자유당) (CLP) 0 (new) 0 (new) 1,376 0.0% 626,853 2.6% 0 (new)
Minjoo Party (민주당) (MP) 4 0 (new) 0 (new) 17,034 0.1% 209,872 0.9% 0 (new)
Other parties 0 Steady 0 Steady 257,879 1.1% 818,773 3.4% 0 Steady
Independents 11 Increase 8 N/A 1,683,264 7.0% N/A 11 Increase 8
Total 253 Increase 7 47 Decrease 7 24,002,420 100.0% 23,760,977 100.0% 300
Turnout: 58.0%[6]

Seat changes are compared to previous election, not the outgoing Assembly
1 Comparison based on 2012 Democratic United Party result
2 Comparison includes members elected in 2012 for the Liberty Forward Party
3 Comparison based on 2012 Unified Progressive Party result
4 Non-parliamentary grouping: not to be confused with the larger Minjoo Party of Korea, more usually referred to as the Minjoo Party

2014 local election[edit]

2012 presidential election[edit]

e • d Summary of the 19 December 2012 South Korean presidential election results
Candidate Party Votes %
Park Geun-hye Saenuri Party 15,773,128 51.55
 
Moon Jae-in Democratic United Party 14,692,632 48.02
 
Kang Ji-won Independent 53,303 0.17
 
Kim Soon-ja Independent 46,017 0.15
 
Kim So-yeon Independent 16,687 0.05
 
Park Jong-sun Independent 12,854 0.04
 
Invalid/blank votes 126,838
Total 30,721,459 100
Registered voters/turnout 40,507,842 75.84
Source: National Election Commission

Summary of past elections[edit]

Presidential elections[edit]

Winning party ideology:       Conservative ·       Liberal ·       Independent

# Year Winner 2nd 3rd Notes
First Republic
President and Vice President elected indirectly by the National Assembly[7]
1 1948 Syngman Rhee 19480815.jpg

Syngman Rhee
NARRKI
(91.8%)

Kim Gu in 1949.jpg

Kim Koo
Korea Independence
(6.7%)

In the vice-presidential election, Yi Si-yeong (NARRKI) won over Kim Koo by 57.4% to 33.0%.
President and Vice President elected by popular vote
2 1952 Syngman Rhee, 1951-May-1 (cropped).jpg

Syngman Rhee
Liberal
(74.6%)

Cho Bong-am.png

Cho Bong-am
Independent
(11.4%)

Yi Si-yeong.jpg

Yi Si-yeong
Democratic Nationalist
(10.9%)

The election took place during the Korean War. In the vice-presidential election, independent Ham Tae-young won the election with 41.3%, defeating Liberal candidate Lee Beom-seok (25.5%) and Democratic Nationalist Chough Pyung-ok (8.1%).
3 1956 Rhee Syng-Man in 1956.jpg

Syngman Rhee
Liberal
(70.0%)

Cho Bong-am.png

Cho Bong-am
Independent
(30.0%)

In the vice-presidential election, Democratic Party candidate Chang Myon defeated Lee Ki-poong (Liberal) by 46.4% to 44.0%.
Mar
1960
Rhee Syng-Man in 1956.jpg

Syngman Rhee
Liberal
(100%)

Rhee re-elected unopposed due to the death of his Democratic Party opponent Chough Pyung-ok. In the vice-presidential election, Lee Ki-poong (Liberal) won with 79.2% over Chang Myon (Democratic) with 17.5%. The results of both elections were annulled as fraudulent after the April Revolution.
Second Republic
President elected indirectly by both houses of the National Assembly; Vice Presidency abolished
4 Aug
1960
Yun Bo-seon.jpg

Yun Bo-seon
Democratic
(82.2%)

Kim Chang Sook.jpg

Kim Chang-sook
(Independent)
(11.5%)

The only presidential election of the Second Republic.
Third Republic
President elected by popular vote
5 1963 Park Chung-hee 1963's.png

Park Chung-hee
Democratic Republican
(46.6%)

Yun Bo-seon.jpg

Yun Bo-seon
Civil Rule
(45.1%)

First election after the May 16 coup.
6 1967 CongressBuilding SEATO (cropped to Park).jpg

Park Chung-hee
Democratic Republican
(46.6%)

Yun Bo-seon.jpg

Yun Bo-seon
New Democratic
(40.9%)

7 1971 박정희 대통령 김영삼 신민당 총재 접견 (cropped).jpg

Park Chung-hee
Democratic Republican
(53.2%)

Kim Dae-jung billboard, 1971.jpg

Kim Dae-jung
New Democratic
(45.3%)

Fourth Republic
President elected by the National Council for Reunification
8 1972 박정희 대통령 김영삼 신민당 총재 접견 (cropped).jpg

Park Chung-hee
Democratic Republican
(100%)

First election after the October Yushin. Park re-elected unopposed.
9 1978 박정희 대통령 김영삼 신민당 총재 접견 (cropped).jpg

Park Chung-hee
Democratic Republican
(100%)

Park re-elected unopposed.
10 1979 Choi Kyu Hah.png

Choi Kyu-hah
Independent
(100%)

First election after Park Chung-hee's assassination. Acting President Choi elected as President unopposed.
11 1980 Chun Doo-hwan.png

Chun Doo-hwan
Independent
(100%)

First election after the coup d'état of December Twelfth. Chun elected unopposed.
Fifth Republic
President elected indirectly
12 1981 Chun Doo-hwan.png

Chun Doo-hwan
Democratic Justice
(90.2%)

DKP
Yu Chi-song
Democratic Korea
(7.7%)
The only presidential election of the Fifth Republic.
Sixth Republic
President elected by first-past-the-post popular vote with single-term limit
13 1987 Roh Tae-woo - cropped, 1989-Mar-13.jpg

Roh Tae-woo
Democratic Justice
(46.6%)

Kim Young-sam.png

Kim Young-sam
Reunification Democratic
(28.0%)

Kim Dae-jung (Cropped).png

Kim Dae-jung
Peace and Democracy
(27.0%)

First free and fair direct presidential election in South Korean history.[8]
14 1992 Kim Young-sam.png

Kim Young-sam
Democratic Liberal
(42.0%)

Kim Dae-jung (Cropped).png

Kim Dae-jung
Democratic
(33.8%)

Chung Ju-yung (Cropped).jpg

Chung Ju-yung
United People's
(16.3%)

15 1997 Kim Dae-jung (Cropped).png

Kim Dae-jung
National Congress
(40.3%)

Lee Hoi-chang (2010).jpg

Lee Hoi-chang
Grand National
(38.7%)

NPP
Lee In-je
New People
(19.2%)
16 2002 Roh Moo-hyun 3.jpg

Roh Moo-hyun
Millennium Democratic
(48.9%)

Lee Hoi-chang (2010).jpg

Lee Hoi-chang
Grand National
(46.6%)

17 2007 Sebastián Piñera - Lee Myung-bak (cropped).jpg

Lee Myung-bak
Grand National
(48.7%)

Chungdongyoung1.jpg

Chung Dong-young
United New Democratic
(26.1%)

Lee Hoi-chang (2010).jpg

Lee Hoi-chang
Independent
(15.1%)

18 2012 Park Geun-hye 2013 ROK-US 60th Anniversay.jpg

Park Geun-hye
Saenuri
(51.6%)

Moon0001.jpg

Moon Jae-in
Democratic United
(48.0%)

Legislative elections[edit]

Winning party:       Conservative ·       Liberal

19461948195019541958196019631967197119731978198119851988

# Year First party Status Seat composition Popular vote Parties (in order of seats)
14 1992 Democratic Liberal Party Decrease Minority (149/299)





15 1996 New Korea Party Decrease Minority (139/299)





16 2000 Grand National Party Increase Minority (133/273)



17 2004 Uri Party Increase Majority (152/299)



18 2008 Grand National Party Increase Majority (153/299)



19 2012 Saenuri Party Decrease Majority (152/300)





20 2016 Minjoo Party of Korea Increase Minority (123/300)





Local elections[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Representation System(Elected Person), the NEC, Retrieved on April 10, 2008
  2. ^ "People's Party opens the way to a real three party system". The Hankyoreh. 15 April 2016. Retrieved 15 April 2016. 
  3. ^ "Minority People's Party steals show: Ahn's Party holds balance of power as three party system dawns". The Korea Herald. 13 April 2016. Retrieved 15 April 2016. 
  4. ^ "4.13 총선" (in Korean). Naver News. 13 April 2016. Retrieved 13 April 2016. 
  5. ^ "개표진행상황" (in Korean). Republic of Korea National Election Commission. 14 April 2016. Retrieved 14 April 2016. 
  6. ^ "20대 총선 잠정투표율 58.0%…19대보다 3.8%p↑" (in Korean). Yonhap News. 13 April 2016. Retrieved 13 April 2016. 
  7. ^ Lee (1984), p. 378.
  8. ^ Kil, Byung-Ok (2001). Security Policy Dynamics: Effects of Contextual Determinants to South Korea. Ashgate. p. 58. South Korea's political forms had been authoritarian during the Cold War and the first free and fair presidential election was held in 1987. 

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  • Nahm, A.C. (1996). Korea: A history of the Korean people (rev. ed.). Seoul: Hollym. ISBN 1-56591-070-2. 
  • Lee, Il-cheong (이일청) (1993). 인명국사대사전 (Inmyeong guksa daesajeon, Unabridged biographical dictionary of Korean history. Seoul: Goryeo Munhaksa. 
  • Lee, Ki-baik (1984). A new history of Korea (rev ed.). Seoul: Ilchokak. ISBN 89-337-0204-0. 

External links[edit]