REPUBLIC OF KOREA
Parliamentary Chamber: Kuk Hoe

ELECTIONS HELD IN 1996

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Chamber:
  Kuk Hoe


Dates of elections / renewal (from/to):

  11 April 1996


Purpose of elections:

  Elections were held for all the seats in Parliament on the normal expiry of the members' term of office.


Background and outcome of elections:

  According to a new law, the campaign for the 1996 elections lasted just over two weeks, officially opening on 26 March; the legal provisions also set strict spending limits for candidates.

The main opposition for the ruling New Korea Party (NKP) - known as the Democratic Liberal Party until December 1995 - came from the newly founded National Congress for New Politics (NCNP) of Mr. Kim Dae-Jung and the right-wing United Liberal Democrats of Mr. Kim Jong-Pil. Altogether 1389 candidates (including 394 independents) vied for the 299 Assembly seats at stake. The campaign was generally regarded as lackluster, short on issues, and somewhat overshadowed by unusual movements of North Korean troops in the demilitarised zone between the two Koreas. The polling itself was seen as a referendum on the policies of President of the Republic Kim Young-Sam (NKP) and his efforts to end corruption in the country's politics. The President's three years in office had also been highlighted by sweeping economic reforms.

On a polling day marked by a low voter turnout, the NKP lost its absolute parliamentary majority but was consoled by the fact that its principal rivals performed below their expectations. Despite the loss of seats, President Kim regarded the results "as reflecting the people's aspiration to pursue reforms amid stability and break the shells of old politics". In the hotly contested battles of the capital, Seoul, the NKP took 27 of the 47 seats.

In the context of this overall outcome, the NKP struck an alliance with independent members to arrive at a governing Assembly margin. The Prime Minister is Mr. Lee Hong-Ku. Presidential elections are scheduled for 1997.

STATISTICS
Round no 1 (11 April 1996): Elections results  
Number of registered electors 31 488 294
Voters 20 122 799 (63.9%)
Blank or invalid ballot papers 469 726
Valid votes 19 653 073

Round no 1: Distribution of votes  
Political Group Candidates Votes %
New Korea Party (NKP) 253 6,783,730 34.5
National Congress for New Politics (NCNP) 230 4,971,961 25.3
United Liberal Democrats (ULD) 219 3,178,474 16.2
United Democratic Party (UDP) 225 2,207,695 11.2
Others 68 182,428 0.9
Independents 394 2,328,785 11.9

Round no 1: Distribution of seats  
Political Group Total Proportional Majority Gain/Loss
New Korea Party (NKP) 139 18 121 -11
National Congress for New Politics (NCNP) 79 13 66 +27
United Liberal Democrats (ULD) 50 9 41 +19
United Democratic Party (UDP) 15 6 9 -20
Others 0 0 0 -
Independents 16 16 0 -4

Distribution of seats according to sex:  
Men: 290
Women: 9

Distribution of seats according to age:  
31-40 years 9
41-50 years 64
51-60 years 160
61-70 years 61
Over 70 years 5


Distribution of seats according to profession:

 
Politicians 232
Law 24
Medicine 10
Education 8
Business 4
Publishing 3
Others 17


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Copyright 1996 Inter-Parliamentary Union