South Korea's President Park Chung-Hee was reelected for a six-year term on Thursday (6 July) in an uncontested ballot.
South Korea's President Park Chung-Hee was reelected for a six-year term on Thursday (6 July) in an uncontested ballot. The main opposition New Democratic Party refused to endorse a candidate.
SYNOPSIS: The Presidential Electoral College met in Seoul to participate in the voting.
President Park was cheered by the College, made up of members of his National Conference of Unification Party. The delegates were teachers, village chiefs and minor officials, loyal to his regime, elected by popular vote in May of this year.
President Park took power in a bloodless coup in 1961 and after two years of military rule, he was elected civilian president. His touch methods have been criticized at home and abroad, but there has been no sign that he will ease his authoritarian control. On the day of the election, leaders of opposition and well known dissidents were kept under house arrest while delegates voted. A ban against all political dissension issued in 1975 is still in force.
President Park needed only a simple majority for re-election, but there was not a single vote against him More than 2,500 votes were cast for him. The old constitution was scrapped under martial law in 1972, when there were violent protests by students and opposition groups. When the results of the voting were in President Park told delegates that "South Korea must continue the march forward, without pause". The country has made spectacular economic strides in recent years and President Park says he is determined to make South Korea self-sufficient. The election described as "farcical" by South Korean dissidents, initiated President Park's fourth term in office.