Political Conditions in South Korea
- Type of State
- Republic, Parliamentary democracy with a Presidential form of government.
- Executive Power
- The President is the chief of the state as well as head of the government. He's elected by a popular vote for a single five-year term. President is the commander-in-chief of the armed forces and enjoys executive powers. He appoints the Prime Minister and the State Council (cabinet) with consent of the parliament.
Prime Minister is not required to be a member of parliament and his main role is to assist the President.
- Legislative Power
The legislature in South Korea is unicameral. The parliament called National Assembly has 299 seats distributed between parties in proportion to their share of the vote to serve four-year terms.
The executive branch of the government is directly or indirectly dependent on the support of the parliament, often expressed through a vote of confidence.
- Main Political Parties
South Korea has a multi-party system, but parties have little chance of gaining power alone. The major parties in the country are:
- GNP (Grand National Party): a conservative party which won the presidential election in Dec 2007. It is strong in the Gyeongsang region;
- United New Democratic Party (UNDP): a liberal party which is strong in the Jeolla region.
- DLP (Democratic Labor Party): a democratic socialist party with its support base in farmers, industrial workers, and progressive intellectuals;
- MDP (Millennium Democratic Party): a party with its support base in provinces of Jeolla.
- Current Political Leaders
LEE Myung-bak: President (since 25 February 2008) L1- GNP (Grand National Party)
- KIM Hwang-sik: Prime Minister since October 2010;
- SOHN Hak-kyu: Leader of United New Democratic Party (UNDP).
- Next Election Dates
Presidential: December 2012
National Assembly: April 2012
Indicator of Freedom of the Press
- World Rank:
- 22 places down compared to 2008
Indicator of Political Freedom
- Political Freedom:
- Civil Liberties:
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