Korea Democratic Party

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Korea Democratic Party

한국민주당 / 한민당
Leader Song Jin-woo
Kim Seong-su
Founded 1945
Dissolved 1949
Succeeded by Democratic Nationalist Party
Headquarters Seoul
Ideology Classical liberalism
Liberal conservatism
Anti-communism
Political position Right-wing[1]
Colours Red and Green
Korea Democratic Party
Hangul
한국민주당
Hanja
韓國民主黨
Revised Romanization Han-guk Minjudang
McCune–Reischauer Han'guk Minjudang

The Korea Democratic Party (Korean: 한국민주당, Hanguk Minjudang, KDP) was the leading opposition party in the first years of the First Republic of South Korea. It existed from 1945 to 1949, when it merged with other opposition parties.

History

The KDP was established in 1945 by conservative nationalists headed by Song Jin-woo who were opposed to the People's Republic of Korea government set up by Lyuh Woon-hyung, instead backing the Provisional Government of the Republic of Korea.[1] After Song was assassinated later in the year, he was succeeded as leader by Kim Seong-su.[1] The Democratic Party won a third of the seats in the Interim Legislative Assembly elections in October 1946, and although it opposed the Assembly's existence due to some of its leadership being excluded,[2] the party provided several of the key figures in the interim administration.[1]

However, its closeness to the American occupation force, together with its association with the landed gentry, meant that it never gained significant popular support.[1] In the May 1948 elections the party won only 29 of the 200 seats, and although it supported Syngman Rhee in the July 1948 presidential elections, none of its members were included in his cabinet, a snub that led to the party joining the opposition.

On 10 February 1949 it merged with other groups in the legislature to form the Democratic Nationalist Party.

References

  1. ^ a b c d e Haruhiro Fukui (1985) Political parties of Asia and the Pacific, Greenwood Press, pp670–671
  2. ^ South Korea Under United States Occupation, 1945-48 Library of Congress Country Studies
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