Despite a boycott and demonstrations of protest from groups opposed to President Park Chung-hee, South Korea's national referendum on sweeping new powers for the President went ahead yesterday (February 12).
SV INTERIOR People collect ballot papers
SV Voters leaving polling booths and placing papers in ballot boxes (2 shots)
GV New Democratic Party building
SV INTERIOR NDP leader Kim Youngsam in office and talking to newsmen (4 shots)
GV INTERIOR Church with people praying as bell is rung (3 shots)
SV AND CU Former party leader Kim Dae-jung in church
Initials CL/1951 CL/1700
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Background: Despite a boycott and demonstrations of protest from groups opposed to President Park Chung-hee, South Korea's national referendum on sweeping new powers for the President went ahead yesterday (February 12).
And first results issued by government sources in the capital, Seoul, indicate a majority in favour of President Park's policies.
But the referendum was another focal point for the opposition led by Catholic groups and the New Democratic Party which withdrew from the referendum despite government threats to deal severely with those who abstained from voting.
The opposition called the new presidential constitution harsh and dictatorial and demanded a return to the principles of democracy.
The new leader of the NDP, Kim Young-sam expressed his criticism of the referendum by remaining in his office on hunger-strike. The former leader of the party, Kim Dae-jung made his protest by going to church, where bells were rung to signify opposition.
However, the referendum result appears to show approval for the present South Korean constitution which President Park first introduced under martial law in 1972 and through which he gained almost total power.