South Korean President Chun Doo-hwan won a clear backing for his policies on Thursday (23 October) when about ninety percent of South Korean voters agreed to a new constitution that dissolves present political parties.
GV Traffic driving through street in Seoul, South Korea, PULL BACK political sign on overhead bridge.
SV Sign with arrow pointing to polling booth PAN TO people walking down hill outside polling booth.
SVs Voters queueing to register for election. (4 SHOTS)
SV Electoral officers taking fingerprints and handing out voting papers.
SV Woman walking to polling booth and people casting votes in ballot box. (4 SHOTS)
GV South Korean President General Chun Doo-hwan and his wife entering polling station, meeting officials, entering polling booth and then casting vote. (4 SHOTS)
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Background: South Korean President Chun Doo-hwan won a clear backing for his policies on Thursday (23 October) when about ninety percent of South Korean voters agreed to a new constitution that dissolves present political parties. Despite calls by militants for a boycott of the referendum the government claimed that ninety five point five percent of South Korea's twenty million voters participated.
SYNOPSIS: Wednesday's vote of confidence was given on the eve of an appeal by leading dissident and former presidential contender Kim Dae-Jung, against the death sentence imposed on him. He was found guilty by a military court of rebellious activities.
The result will strengthen President Chun's hand in dealing with criticism from major trading partners, the United States and Japan, of his actions against leading opponents of the presidency. The new constitution does away with many laws introduced by the late President Park Chung-Hee who was assassinated a year ago. It will attempt to prevent presidents like Mr. Park, who held power for 18 years, from exceeding one seven-year term in office. It restores limits on detentions and makes confessions alone insufficient grounds for conviction. It also makes the president more answerable to parliament. A president will not be able to rule through emergency powers without Parliamentary approval. With the dissolution of the old Parliament, legislative powers will rest with the military-dominated Legislative Committee for National Security.
President Chun, his wife and eldest son were among the first to cast their votes. They voted at a booth near their home at seven in the morning. Among other early voters were the acting leaders of the two main political parties, Chun Nae-Hyok of the Democratic Republican Party and Yi Min-U of the New Democratic Party. The former leader of the Democratic Republican, Kim Jong-Pil, has retired from office after returning 35 million dollars worth of assets to the state to avoid prosecution. The former head of the New Democrats, who has been kept under house arrest, has also retired.