South Korean legislative election, 1988

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Parliamentary elections were held in South Korea on 26 April 1988.[1] The result was a victory for the Democratic Justice Party, which won 125 of the 299 seats in the National Assembly. Voter turnout was 75.8%.


The governing Democratic Justice Party (DJP) recently elected President Roh Tae-woo. While remaining the largest party, the DJP lost its absolute parliamentary majority, which is the first for a ruling party. The party was hindered by a stronger opposition and the unpopularity of former party leader and President Chun Doo-hwan.

The opposition Party for Peace and Democracy led by veteran opposition leader Kim Dae Jung had a strong showing. It come in a distant second but overtook its rival, the opposition Reunification Democratic Party (RDP), to become the largest parliamentary opposition party. This was vindication for Dae Jung, who came third behind both Roh Tae-woo and Kim Young-sam in the South Korean presidential election, 1987.

For Kim Young-sam and the Reunification Democratic Party the election was a major setback. The party came a distant third, this was after Kim had placed second in the first democratic presidential elections, just ahead of Dae Jung.

The New Democratic Republican Party (NDRP) led by former prime Minister Kim Jong-pil came a distant fourth. However, thanks to the failure of the DJP to win an absolute majority, the oppositions emerged as the major powerbrokers in the new National Assembly.


Party Votes % Seats +/-
Democratic Justice Party(민주정의당/DJP, 민정당) 6,675,494 34.0 125 -23
Reunification Democratic Party(통일민주당/DP, 민주당) 4,680,175 23.8 59 New
Party for peace and democracy(평화민주당/PDP, 평민당) 3,783,279 19.3 70 New
New Democratic Republican Party(신민주공화당/RP, 공화당) 3,062,506 15.6 35 New
Grand-national-people(Hangyore) Democratic Party(한겨레민주당/HP, 한겨레당) 251,236 1.3 1 New
People's Party(민중의 당) 65,650 0.3 0 New
Korea National Party(한국국민당/NP, 국민당) 65,032 0.3 0 New
New-Korea Democratic Party(신한민주당/NDP, 신민당) 46,877 0.2 0 -67
Democratic Korea Party(민주한국당/DKP, 민한당) 32,799 0.2 0 -35
Korean Justice Party(대한정의당) 25,433 0.1 0 New
Third Generation Party(제3세대당) 16,148 0.1 0 New
Han Ideology Reunification Korean Party(한주의통일한국당) 3,756 0.0 0 New
Unificational Socialist Party(통일사회당) 3,267 0.0 0 New
Christian Holy People's Party(기독성민당) 2,247 0.0 0 New
Independents 933,161 4.8 9 +5
Invalid/blank votes 208,775 - - -
Total 19,850,815 100 299 +23
Source: Nohlen et al.


  1. ^ Nohlen, D, Grotz, F & Hartmann, C (2001) Elections in Asia: A data handbook, Volume II, p420 ISBN 0-19-924959-8

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