In South Korea, unofficial returns suggest the opposition, New Democratic Party (NDP) has attracted slightly more support than the ruling Democratic Republican Party (DRP) in Tuesday's (12 December) elections for the National Assembly.
In South Korea, unofficial returns suggest the opposition, New Democratic Party (NDP) has attracted slightly more support than the ruling Democratic Republican Party (DRP) in Tuesday's (12 December) elections for the National Assembly. If confirmed it would be the first time the DRP has received less votes than a major opposition party in a general election, and represent a major setback for the government of President Park Chung-Hee, but not a defeat.
SYNOPSIS: There was great interest in the run-up to the first National Assembly elections since February 1973. Then - the DRP, backed by President Pari, won twenty-one seats more than the NDP. Since 1973 the National Assembly has been slightly expanded to two hundred and thirty-one seats, but only two thirds of these are elected. The remaining members are selected by the National Conference for Unification, and President Park is assured of an overall majority. The opposition NDP campaigned for restoration of democratic liberty and the repeal of the three-year-old decree imposed by President Park which banned all forms of anti-government protest.
Almost twenty million people were eligible to vote in the election, only the second since the approval of a new constitution by national referendum in 1972. Elected members serve a six year term, appointed members only three years. They meet for a maximum of one hundred and fifty days each year. It was South Korea's most peaceful election for thirty years.
It was only in July that, President Park was re-elected for another six-year term and his authoritarian control over the country will continue. Korea's economic growth recently has been spectacular.