South Korean constitutional referendum, 1972

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

A constitutional referendum was held in South Korea on 21 November 1972.[1] President Park Chung-hee had suspended the constitution and dissolved the National Assembly in October. Work began almost immediately on a new constitution. The finished product was a severely authoritarian document that dramatically expanded the president's powers and allowed him to run for an unlimited number of six-year terms. For all intents and purposes, the document concentrated all governing power in Park's hands.

According to official figures, the new document was approved by 92.3% of voters, with a turnout of 91.9%.[2] The referendum ushered in the Fourth Republic of South Korea.


Choice Votes %
For 13,186,559 92.3
Against 1,106,143 7.7
Invalid/blank votes 118,012
Total 14,410,714 100
Registered voters/turnout 15,676,395 91.9
Source: Nohlen et al.


  1. ^ Dieter Nohlen, Florian Grotz & Christof Hartmann (2001) Elections in Asia: A data handbook, Volume II, p420 ISBN 0-19-924959-8
  2. ^ Nohlen et al, p427