After 26 years of military rule, short for KR by Abbreviationfinder, South Korea got its current constitution in 1988. A elected president governs the country with the support of a government, while Parliament has the legislative power and the judiciary the legal. Domestic politics is polarized with a conservative party grouping and a left-wing liberal that has long been fighting for power.
The President is a member of the government and has a decisive influence on its decisions. Formally, however, government work is led by a prime minister who is appointed by the president with the consent of parliament. The president, who is head of state and commander-in-chief, is elected in direct elections for five years and cannot be re-elected. Parliament must approve the exception laws that the President can introduce in national emergencies. Parliament can set aside the Prime Minister or other Ministers and can initiate national law against the President.
- Countryaah: Total population and chart of South Korea for years of 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023 and 2024. Also covers population density, birth rate, death rate and population growth rates.
The Legislative Parliament (National Assembly) consists of a chamber whose members are elected every four years. In the 2020 election, 253 members were elected in one-man constituencies, while 47 seats were distributed among the parties according to their share of the votes.
Administratively, South Korea is divided into nine provinces and seven cities with the same status as the provinces. A significant part of the state administration has been moved from Seoul to Sejong City, in the middle of the country.
The judiciary consists of the Supreme Court, appellate courts, district courts, special courts for patent cases and family cases, and special courts for crimes committed by military personnel. The Constitutional Court must monitor that the country’s laws are in accordance with the Constitution.
Political liberalization in the late 1980s led to a lot of party formation and changing alliances, but basically the power has shifted between two political groups based in each region. In the industrial areas of south-eastern South Korea, the conservative parties have had their stronghold, while more left-wing parties have been strongest in the southwest, where incomes are lower. The polarization has been strong for several decades.
Two major parties have dominated South Korean politics under different names since the turn of the millennium. The Conservative Party, which before 2012 was called the Great National Party and then the Saenuri Party, translated to the New Frontier Party (NFP) became the largest party in the 2008 parliamentary elections and managed to retain government power even in the elections of 2012. However, the party got to see itself defeated by the Liberal Democratic Party (also called the Minor Party, see below) in the 2016 elections. in 2020.
In February 2017, the Saenuri Party changed its name to the Liberty Korea Party of Korea. It was a way to avoid being associated with a widespread corruption scandal that was discovered in the fall of 2016 and which eventually led to the resignation of President Park Geun-Hye (see Modern History). In connection with the initiation of a national court process against Park in December 2016, the party split, as some 30 party supporters who were negative to Park and her actions formed a new right-wing party, the Bareun Party.
In early 2020, a few months before the parliamentary elections to be held in April, the Korean Freedom Party carried out yet another change of name. Now it called itself the United Future Party after two bourgeois small parties joined.
Since 2007, the liberal grouping in South Korean politics has been dominated by a larger party that has gone by several names and since 2016 is called the Democratic Party or the Minjeparti. DP became the largest party in the 2016 election. The party has its roots in a merger in 2007 of two liberal parties (the Millennial Democratic Party and Our Party, the Uri Party). In 2014, a collaboration was concluded with a party founded by IT businessman Ahn Cheol-Soo. The hope was that the Liberal forces could defeat the Conservative Party in the coming elections. But plans were gone when Ahn Cheol-Soo chose to form the People’s Party (People’s Party, PP) before the 2016 parliamentary elections.
South Korea had no leftist parties in the traditional sense until 2000, when the Democratic Labor Party (DLP) was formed. In 2011, it merged with another Left Party and formed the United Progressive Party (UPP). In 2012, a faction broke out of the party and formed the Justice Party (Justice Party, from the beginning Progressive Justice Party).
At the end of the 2010s, some smaller parties gathered in two groups: a more center-right one, which was made up of the Bareun Framtidspartiet (formed after a merger between Bareun and an outbreak group within the People’s Party, PP) and the left-centered Party for democracy and peace. These two small parties merged with another smaller party (the New Alternative Party) before the 2020 parliamentary elections and formed the Party for the livelihood of the people.