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Political Parties

Political Parties

South Korea has a multi-party system. The names in English often sound very different from the name of the party in Korea which leads to some confusion for foreign nationals. Following is the current list in both English, Korean and romanized Korean.

Elections: The president is elected on a 5-year term directly by the people. Of the 300 members of the National Assembly (Gukhoe - 국회) which is the legislative branch of government, 244 are elected in signle-seat constituencies while 56 are chosen by proportional representation by their parties. Members serve for a four-year term.   

Main Political Parties in 2017:
Democratic Party of Korea (더불어민주당) also still refered to as Minju-dang is the party of current President Moon Jae-in, elected in a special early election following the impeachment of President Park Geun-hye.

Liberty Korean Party (자유한국당) until February 2017 was Saenuri-dang.and before that Hanara-dang. Liberty Korea Party was the result of a splinter in the Saenuri-dang party with the impeachment of President Park Geun-hye, the first woman elected to the presidency in Korea.

Other parties basically same as those listed below Daeburo Minjoo.

Political Parties in 2015:
Saenuri-dang  (New Frontier Party) 새누리당* (Saenuri-dang) - In February 2012 what was the Grand National Party (GNP) known in Korean as  한나라당  / Hannara-dang)  became the Saenuri Party. It is the party of the ruling president Park Geun-Hye (took office in February 2013). Conservative, center right to far right leaning. 

Daeburo Minjoo-더불어민주당 * (Minju-dang)  - Opposition party (as of 2016 holds small majority of seats in the National Assembly). Center to center left leaning 

Gungminui-dang (People's Party - PP) 국민의당 - Splinter party formed by former Minjoo Party members. Center leaning. 

Jeongui-dang (Justice Party - JP) 정의당 - Splinter from the Unified Progressive Party (UPP; Korean: 통합진보당). Left to far left leaning.

Additional Parties (2015)
Employment, Welfare and Pensions Advancement Coalition (고용복지연금선진화연대 당, ewpac)
Christian Liberal Party (기독자유당, Gidok Jayudang)
Minjoo Party (민주당, Minjoodang)
Labor Party (노동당, Nodongdang)
Green Party Korea (녹색당, Noksaekdang)
Hannara Party (한나라당, Hannaradang)
People's New Party for Reform (개혁국민신당, Gaehyeok gukminsindang)
People's United Party (민중연합당, Minjung yeonhapdang)
Christian Democratic Union Korea (기독민주당, Gidok minjudang)
Green Buddhist United Party (그린불교연합당, Geurin bulgyo yeonhapdang)
International Green Party (국제녹색당, Gukje noksaekdang)
Let's Go Korea (가자코리아, Gajakoria)
Republican Party (공화당, Gonghwadang)

Additional Parties (2012)
Liberty Forward Party (LFP) 자유선진당  (Jayu Seonjin-dang )
Future Hope Alliance (FHA) 미래희망연대 (Mirae Heemang Yeondae)
Democratic Labor Party (DLP) 민주노동당  (Minju Nodong-dang)
Creative Korea Party (CKP) 창조한국당 (Changjo Hanguk-dang)
New Progressive Party (NPP) 진보신당 (Jinbo Sin-dang)
People First Union (PFU) 국민중심연합  (Gungmin Jungsim Yeonhap)
People's Participation Party 국민참여당  (Gungmin Chamyeodang)
Christian Agape Party 기독사랑실천당 (Gidok Sarang Silcheondang)
Socialist Party 사회당 (Sahoedang) - changing from Korea Socialist Party

Evolution of Political Party Names:
 Political parties in Korea have undergone a number of name and structure changes in recent years. And parties to which some past presidents 'belonged' no longer exist (or no longer use the same name). The name changes may be the result of an alliance between 2 or more parties, an outright name change to distinguish the current candidate/party from one or more predecessors, a reflection of an events, etc.
Here are some examples: 
Saenuri Party (Korean: 새누리당 (Saenuri-dang), aka the New Frontier Party is the new name, as of February 2012 of the Grand National Party ( GNP)  한나라당  (Hannara-dang of President Lee Myung-bak.
Our Uri Party - Yeollin Uri Party ( 열린우리당) . Existed from 2003-2007 and was the ruling party under President Roh Moo-hyun.
Millennium Democratic Party - Saecheonnyeon Minju-dang (새천년민주당) of President Kim Dae-jung existed from 2000-2005. Forerunner (sort of) of Uri Party  (President Roh Moo-hyun).
Jayu Seonjin-dang 자유선진당  led by Lee Hoi-chang who was 1997/2002/2007 presidential nominee for Grand National Party
Mirae Heemang Yeondae 미래희망연대  supporting Grand National Party's Park Geun-hye as Presidential Candidate

K4E Editor: Korea4Expats.com tries to ensure that the information we provide is accurate and complete, so should you notice any errors or omissions in the content above please contact us at info@korea4expats.com

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Last Updated on 2017-12-28

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