Politics of South Korea
This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
Politics of the Republic of Korea takes place in the framework of a presidential representative democratic republic, whereby the President is the head of state, and of a multi-party system. Executive power is exercised by the government. Legislative power is vested in both the government and the National Assembly. The Judiciary is independent of the executive and the legislature and comprises a Supreme Court, appellate courts and a Constitutional Court. Since 1948, the constitution has undergone five major revisions, each signifying a new republic. The current Sixth Republic began with the last major constitutional revision in 1987.
National government 1
- Executive branch 1.1
- Legislative branch 1.2
- Judicial branch 1.3
- Political parties and elections 2
- Political pressure groups and leaders 3
- Administrative divisions 4
- International organization participation 5
- References 6
- External links 7
|President||Park Geun-hye||Saenuri Party||25 February 2013|
|Prime Minister||Jung Hong-won||Saenuri Party||26 February 2013|
The head of state is the president, who is elected by direct popular vote for a single five-year term. The president is Commander-in-Chief of the armed force of South Korea and enjoys considerable executive powers.
The president appoints the prime minister with approval of the National Assembly, as well as appointing and presiding over the State Council of chief ministers as the head of government. On 12 March 2004 the executive power of then president Roh Moo-hyun was suspended when the Assembly voted to impeach him and Prime Minister Goh Kun became an Acting President. On 14 May 2004 the Constitutional Court overturned the impeachment decision made by the Assembly and Roh was reinstated.
The South Korean judiciary is independent of the other two branches. The highest judiciary body is the Supreme Court, whose justices are appointed by the president with the consent of the National Assembly. In addition, the Constitutional Court oversees questions of constitutionality. South Korea has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction.
Political parties and elections
South Korea elects on national level a head of state – the president – and a legislature. The president is elected for a five-year term by the people. The National Assembly (Gukhoe) has 300 members, elected for a four-year term, 244 members in single-seat constituencies and 56 members by proportional representation.
The main political parties in South Korea are the Saenuri Party(NFP), the New Politics Alliance for Democracy(NPAD, former Democratic Party), the Unified Progressive Party (UPP), and the Justice Party. The conservative Saenuri Party and the more liberal Democrats(NPAD) are the dominant forces of South Korean politics. The socialist UPP is aligned with labour unions and farmers groups. But UPP was torn into two parties after 2012 election, and 6 of 13 MPs of UPP formed the Justice Party.
Structure of National Assembly as of 15 August 2014.
- Conservatives(NFP) : 158(+1)
- Liberals(NPAD) : 130(+3)
- Progressive(UPP, JP) : 10(-3)
- Independents : 2(pro-NFP)
|Parties||Local seats||±||Block seats||±||Constituency votes||%||PR block votes||%||Total seats||±|
|Saenuri Party (새누리당) (NFP) 1||127||-10||25||-5||9,324,911||43.3%||9,130,651||42.8%||152||-15|
|Democratic United Party (민주통합당) (DUP)||106||+40||21||+6||8,156,045||37.9%||7,777,123||36.5%||127||+46|
|Unified Progressive Party (통합진보당) (UPP)||7||+5||6||+3||1,291,306||6.0%||2,198,405||10.3%||13||+8|
|Liberty Forward Party (자유선진당) (LFP)||3||-11||2||-2||474,001||2.2%||690,754||3.2%||5||-13|
|New Progressive Party (진보신당) (NPP)||0||±0||0||±0||101,614||0.5%||243,065||1.1%||0||±0|
|Korea Vision Party (국민생각) (KVP)||0||±0||0||±0||44,379||0.2%||156,241||0.7%||0||±0|
|Creative Korea Party (창조한국당) (CKP)||0||-1||0||-2||3,624||0.0%||91,935||0.4%||0||-3|
|Conservative (NFP, LFP, KVP)||130||-21||27||-7||9,843,291||45.7%||9,977,646||46.7%||157||-28|
|Liberal (DUP, CKP)||106||+39||21||+4||8,159,669||37.9%||7,869,058||36.9%||127||+43|
|Progressive (UPP, NPP)||7||+5||6||+3||1,392,920||6.5%||2,441,470||11.4%||13||+8|
1 Comparison includes members elected in 2008 for the Pro-Park Coalition
|Park Geun-hye||Saenuri Party||15,773,128||51.55|
|Moon Jae-in||Democratic United Party||14,692,632||48.02|
|Source: National Election Commission|
Political pressure groups and leaders
- Federation of Korean Industries
- Federation of Korean Trade Unions
- Korean Confederation of Trade Unions
- Korean National Council of Churches
- Korean Traders Association
- Korean Veterans' Association
- National Council of Labor Unions
- National Democratic Alliance of Korea
- National Federation of Farmers' Associations
- National Federation of Student Associations
One Special City (Teukbyeolsi, Capital City), six Metropolitan Cities (Gwangyeoksi, singular and plural.), nine Provinces (Do, singular and plural) and one Special Autonomous City (Sejong City).
- Seoul Teukbyeolsi (서울특별시)
- Busan Gwangyeoksi (부산광역시)
- Daegu Gwangyeoksi (대구광역시)
- Incheon Gwangyeoksi (인천광역시)
- Daejeon Gwangyeoksi (대전광역시)
- Gwangju Gwangyeoksi (광주광역시)
- Ulsan Gwangyeoksi (울산광역시)
- Gyeonggi-do (경기도)
- Gangwon-do (강원도)
- Chungcheongbuk-do (충청북도)
- Chungcheongnam-do (충청남도)
- Jeollabuk-do (전라북도)
- Jeollanam-do (전라남도)
- Gyeongsangbuk-do (경상북도)
- Gyeongsangnam-do (경상남도)
- Jeju Teukbyeoljachi-do (제주특별자치도)
- Sejong Teukbyeol-jachisi (세종특별자치시)
International organization participation
WTrO, Zangger Committee
- Number of Local seats earned by each party (in Korean), National Election Commission, Retrieved 12 April 2012.
- Number of Block seats earned by each party (in Korean), National Election Commission, Retrieved 12 April 2012
- Total number of votes earned for Block seats by each party (in Korean), National Election Commission, Retrieved 12 April 2012
- Chang Se-hoon(장세훈) (April 14, 2012). "과반의석? 박근혜 긴장 늦추지 못하는 이유는" [Winning majority? Why Park Geun-hye can't be too cheerful about the election.]. 서울신문 (in Korean). Retrieved April 14, 2012.
- News 1 (April 13, 2012). "총선 결과, 보수-진보 의석수 158 대 142, 정당 득표 997만 대 982만. 박빙 대선 레이스 예고" [Election results, conservatives vs liberals: seats 158 vs. 142, total votes 9.97mil. vs. 9.82mi. President election will be a close call.] (in Korean). JoongAng daily. Retrieved April 13, 2012.
- World Factbook: South Korea
- Cheong Wa Dae
- National Assembly