Liberty Korea Party

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Liberty Korea Party
자유한국당
Jayuhangukdang
Interim Leader
(Chairman of the Emergency Measures Innovation Committee)
Kim Byong-joon
Floor leader Kim Sung-tae
Secretary General Kim Yong-tae
Chairman of the Policy Planning Committee Ham Jin-kyu
Founded November 21, 1997
(Grand National Party)
February 2, 2012
(Saenuri Party)
February 13, 2017
(Liberty Korea Party)
Merger of United Liberal Democrats
Future Hope Alliance
Advancement Unification Party
Evergreen Korea Party
Preceded by New Korea Party
Democratic Party (1995)
Headquarters 18, Gukhoe-daero 70-gil
Yeongdeungpo-gu, Seoul
149-871
Membership (2015) 3,020,776 (As Saenuri Party)[1]
Ideology Conservatism[2][3][4]
Social conservatism[5]
Right-wing populism[6][7]
Political position Centre-right[8][9][10][11][12][13] to
right-wing[14][15][16]
Regional affiliation Asia Pacific Democrat Union
International affiliation International Democrat Union
Colours Red
Seats in the National Assembly
112 / 300
Municipal mayor and Gubernatorial
2 / 17
Municipal Mayors
53 / 226
Seats within local government
1,146 / 3,750
Website
www.libertykoreaparty.kr
Liberty Korea Party
Hangul 자유한국
Hanja 自由韓國
Revised Romanization Jayuhangukdang
McCune–Reischauer Chayuhan'guktang
Korea Party
Hangul
Hanja 韓國
Revised Romanization Hangukdang
McCune–Reischauer Han'guktang
Headquarters of the Liberty Korea Party

The Liberty Korea Party (Hangul자유한국당; Hanja自由韓國黨) is a conservative[2][3][4] political party in South Korea. Until February 2017, it was known as the Saenuri Party (Hangul새누리당), and before that as the Hannara Party (Hangul한나라당; lit. Grand National Party) from 1997 to 2012, both of which are still colloquially used to refer to the party. The party formerly held a plurality of seats in the 20th Assembly before its ruling status was transferred to the Democratic Party of Korea on December 27, 2016, following the creation of the splinter Bareun Party by former Saenuri members who distanced themselves from President Park Geun-hye in the 2016 South Korean political scandal.

History

The party was founded in 1997, when the United Democratic Party and New Korea Party merged. Its earliest ancestor was the Democratic Republican Party[17] under the authoritarian rule of Park Chung-hee in 1963. On Park's death, and at the beginning of the rule of Chun Doo-hwan in 1980, it was reconstituted and renamed as the Democratic Justice Party. In 1988, party member Roh Tae-woo introduced a wide range of political reforms including direct presidential elections and a new constitution. The party was renamed in 1993, during the presidency of Kim Young-sam,[18] with the merger of other parties to form the Democratic Liberal Party (Minju Jayudang). It was renamed as the New Korea Party (Sinhangukdang) in 1995, and it then became the Grand National Party in November 1997 following its merger with the smaller United Democratic Party (1996) and various conservative parties.[19]

Three months later, with the election of Kim Dae-jung of the Centrist Reformists Democratic Party as president, the party's governing role came to an end, and it began its first ever period in opposition, which would last ten years. In October 2012, the Advancement Unification Party merged with the Saenuri Party.[20]

Following the 2000 parliamentary elections, it was the single largest political party, with 54% of the vote and 147 seats out of 271.

The party was defeated in the parliamentary election in 2004 following the attempted impeachment of President Roh Moo-hyun, gaining only 121 seats out of 299. The party's defeat reflected public disapproval of the attempted impeachment, which was instigated by the party. This was the first time in its history the party had not won the most seats. It gained back five seats in by-elections, bringing it to 127 seats as of October 28, 2005.[21]

2007 onward

On December 19, 2007, the GNP's candidate, former Seoul mayor Lee Myung-bak won the presidential election,[22] ending the party's ten-year period in opposition.

In the April 2008 general election, the GNP secured a majority of 153 seats out of 299 and gained power in the administration and the parliament as well as most local governments, despite low voter turnout.[23]

One of the main bases of popular support of the party originates from the conservative, traditionalist elite and the rural population, except for farmers. It is strongest in the Gyeongsang region. Former party head, and 2007 presidential candidate, Park Geun-hye is the daughter of former President Park Chung-hee who ruled from 1961 to 1979. Although Representative Won Hee-ryeong and Hong Jun-pyo ran for the party primary as reformist candidates, former Seoul mayor and official presidential candidate Lee Myung-bak gained more support (about 40%) from the Korean public.

The GNP suffered a setback in the 2010 local elections, losing a total of 775 local seats throughout the counties,[24] but remained with the most seats in the region.

2011

GNP-affiliated politician, Oh Se-hoon, lost his mayoral position in Seoul after the Seoul Free Lunch Referendum.

The Grand National Party celebrated its 14th anniversary on November 21, 2011, amid uncertainties from intra-party crises.[25]

The DDoS attacks during the October 2011 by-election have become a central concern of the GNP as it could potentially disintegrate the party leadership.[26]

Emergency Response Commission

The Hong Jun-pyo leadership system collapsed on December 9, 2011, and the GNP Emergency Response Commission was launched on December 17, 2011, with Park Geun-hye as commission chairperson, to prepare for the forthcoming Legislative Election 2012 on April 11, 2012, and the Presidential Election 2012 on December 19, 2012.[27]

There was a debate with Commission members about whether to transform the Grand National Party into a non-conservative political party or not, but Park said the GNP would never become non-conservative and will follow the real values of conservatism.[28][29]

Official color

In February 2012, the party changed its political official color from blue to red. This was a change from the previous 30 years where blue was usually the symbol of the conservative parties.[30]

Policy

The party supports free trade and neoliberal economic policies. It favors maintaining strong cooperation with the United States and Japan while distancing South Korea from North Korea. The party is also conservative on social issues such as opposition to legal recognition of same-sex couples.

Four major rivers project

One of the party's important policies is to financially secure The Four Major Rivers Project since President Lee Myung-bak was in office. This project's budget disputes have sparked controversial political motions in the National Assembly for three consecutive years.[31]

Sejong City project

The party has been less inclined toward the creation of a new capital city for South Korea, to be called Sejong City than the previous administration. As of 2012, the Saenuri Party has indicated that some governmental offices will be relocated to the new city, but not all.

Human rights activism

The party has been very active in promoting the North Korean Human Rights Law, which would officially condemn the use of torture, public executions and other human rights violations in North Korea.[32]

Party representative Ha Tae Kyung is the founder of Open Radio for North Korea, an NGO dedicated to spreading news and information about democracy, to which citizens of North Korea have little access due to their government's isolationist policies.[33] In April 2012, Saenuri member Cho Myung-Chul became the first North Korean defector elected to the National Assembly.[34] In spring 2012, several Saenuri representatives took part in the Save My Friend protests, organized to oppose China's policy of repatriating North Korean defectors, and expressed their solidarity with Park Sun-young's hunger strike.[35]

Criticism

Online sockpuppetry

The party has records of secretly hiring and paying university students to generate online replies favorable to the GNP.[36] GNP member Jin Seong-ho (진성호) formally apologized on July 2, 2009, for making a remark that "the GNP occupied Naver,"[37] one of the biggest South Korean internet portals.

December 8, 2010, controversial bill-passing

The party passed a bill relating to the year 2011 national budget without the opposition parties' input on December 8, 2010.[38] It had caused legislative violence before. This process of passing the budget bill sparked controversy over potential illegality. Due to this incident, many South Korean political, academic and citizen groups expressed their outrage against current mainstream politics.[39] The reason for forceful passing of the bill was due mainly to the budget disputes over the controversial Four Major Rivers Project.[40] Many Buddhists in South Korea criticized the budget bill for neglecting the national Temple Stay program.[41] This has led the Jogye Order, the largest Buddhist order in South Korea, to sever ties with the GNP[42] and becoming financially independent without any funding from the government.[43] The interns and the staff working in the National Assembly officially complained on December 17 that their salary was unpaid after the passing of this bill.[44]

List of leaders

Chairpersons

  • Note
  • ERC - as head of Emergency Response Committee
  • * - as the de facto head of party
No. Terms Chairperson Tenure
1 1 Lee Han-dong (이한동) November 21, 1997 April 10, 1998
* 2 Cho Soon (조순)* April 10, 1998 August 5, 1998
Lee Han-dong (이한동) August 5, 1998 August 31, 1998
* 3 Lee Hoi-chang (이회창)* August 31, 1998 May 22, 2000
Seo Cheong-won (서청원) May 22, 2000 May 30, 2000
* 4 Lee Hoi-chang (이회창)* May 30, 2000 April 2, 2002
Park Kwan-yong (박관용) April 2, 2002 May 14, 2002
2 5 Seo Cheong-won (서청원) May 14, 2002 January 30, 2003
Park Hee-tae (박희태) January 30, 2003 May 26, 2003
3 6 Choi Byeong-yul (최병렬) May 26, 2003 March 23, 2004
4 7 Park Geun-hye (박근혜) March 23, 2004 July 5, 2004
Kim Deok-ryong (김덕룡) July 5, 2004 July 19, 2004
(4) 8 Park Geun-hye (박근혜) July 19, 2004 June 15, 2006
Kim Yeong-seon (김영선) June 15, 2006 July 10, 2006
5 9 Kang Jae-sup (강재섭) July 11, 2006 July 4, 2008
6 10 Park Hee-tae (박희태) July 4, 2008 September 7, 2009
7 11 Chung Mong-joon (정몽준) September 7, 2009 June 4, 2010
Kim Moo-sung (김무성)ERC June 4, 2010 July 14, 2010
8 12 Ahn Sang-soo (안상수) July 14, 2010 May 9, 2011
Jeong Ui-hwa (정의화)ERC May 9, 2011 July 4, 2011
9 13 Hong Jun-pyo (홍준표) July 4, 2011 December 17, 2011
Na Kyung-won (나경원) December 9, 2011 December 12, 2011
Hwang Woo-yea (황우여) December 12, 2011 December 19, 2011
Park Geun-hye (박근혜)ERC December 19, 2011 May 15, 2012
10 14 Hwang Woo-yea (황우여) May 15, 2012 May 15, 2014
Lee Wan-koo (이완구)ERC May 15, 2014 July 14, 2014
11 15 Kim Moo-sung (김무성) July 14, 2014 April 14, 2016
Won Yoo-chul (원유철) April 14, 2016 May 11, 2016
Chung Jin-suk (정진석) May 11, 2016 June 2, 2016
Kim Hee-ok (김희옥)ERC June 2, 2016 August 9, 2016
12 16 Lee Jung-hyun (이정현) August 9, 2016 December 16, 2016
Chung Woo-taik (정우택) December 16, 2016 December 29, 2016
In Myung-jin (인명진)ERC December 29, 2016 April 1, 2017
Chung Woo-taik (정우택) April 1, 2017 July 3, 2017
13 17 Hong Jun-pyo (홍준표) July 3, 2017 June 14, 2018
Kim Sung-tae (김성태) June 14, 2018 July 17, 2018
Kim Byong-joon (김병준)ERC July 17, 2018 Incumbent

Assembly leaders (Floor leaders)

No. Assembly leader Tenure
1 Mok Yo-sang (목요상) November 21, 1997 December 16, 1997
2 Lee Sang-deuk December 16, 1997 April 5, 1998
3 Ha Soon-bong (하순봉) April 5, 1998 August 27, 1998
4 Park Hee-tae (박희태) August 27, 1998 January 14, 1999
5 Lee Boo-young (이부영) January 14, 1999 June 1, 2000
6 Jung Chang-hwa (정창화) June 1, 2000 May 13, 2001
7 Lee Jae-oh May 13, 2001 May 16, 2002
8 Lee Kyu-taek (이규택) May 16, 2002 June 29, 2003
9 Hong Sa-duk (홍사덕) June 29, 2003 May 18, 2004
10 Kim Duk-ryong (김덕룡) May 18, 2004 March 4, 2005
11 Kang Jae-sup March 4, 2005 January 11, 2006
12 Lee Jae-oh January 11, 2006 July 12, 2006
13 Kim Hyun-goh (김형오) July 12, 2006 August 26, 2007
14 Ahn Sang-soo August 26, 2007 May 17, 2008
15 Hong Jun-pyo May 17, 2008 May 20, 2009
(14) Ahn Sang-soo May 20, 2009 May 3, 2010
16 Kim Moo-sung May 3, 2010 May 5, 2011
17 Hwang Woo-yea May 5, 2011 May 8, 2012
18 Lee Hahn-koo May 8, 2012 May 14, 2013
19 Choi Kyoung-hwan May 15, 2013 May 7, 2014
20 Lee Wan-koo May 7, 2014 January 25, 2015
21 Yoo Seung-min February 1, 2015 July 8, 2015
22 Won Yoo-chul July 14, 2015 May 3, 2016
23 Chung Jin-suk (정진석) May 3, 2016 December 12, 2016
24 Jung Woo-taek (정우택) December 16, 2016 December 11, 2017
25 Kim Sung-tae (김성태) December 11, 2017 Incumbent

Election results

Presidential elections

Election Candidate Total votes Share of votes Outcome
1997 Lee Hoi-chang 9,935,718 38.7% Lost Red XN
2002 Lee Hoi-chang 11,443,297 46.5% Lost Red XN
2007 Lee Myung-bak 11,492,389 48.7% Elected Green tickY
2012 Park Geun-hye 15,773,128 51.6% Elected Green tickY
2017 Hong Jun-pyo 7,841,017 24% Lost Red XN

Legislative elections

Election Total seats won Total votes Share of votes Outcome of election Election leader
2000
133 / 273
7,365,359 39.0% Increase13 seats; Minority Opposition Lee Hoi-chang
2004
121 / 299
7,613,660 35.8% Decrease24 seats; Minority Opposition Park Geun-hye
2008
153 / 299
6,421,727 37.4% Increase32 seats; Majority Government Kang Jae-seop
2012
152 / 300
9,130,651 42.8% Decrease1 seats; Majority Government Park Geun-hye
2016
122 / 300
7,960,272 33.5% Decrease24 seats; Minority Government Kim Moo-sung

Local elections

Election Metropolitan mayor/Governor Provincial legislature Municipal mayor Municipal legislature Election leader
1998
6 / 16
224 / 616
74 / 232
Cho Soon
2002
11 / 16
467 / 682
136 / 227
Seo Cheong-won
2006
12 / 16
557 / 733
155 / 230
1,621 / 2,888
Park Geun-hye
2010
6 / 16
288 / 761
82 / 228
1,247 / 2,888
Chung Mong-joon
2014
8 / 17
416 / 789
117 / 226
1,413 / 2,898
Lee Wan-koo
2018
2 / 17
137 / 824
53 / 226
1,009 / 2,927
Hong Jun-pyo

Footnotes

Party Splits

See also

References

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  4. ^ a b Peterson, Mark; Margulies, Phillip (2010), A Brief History of Korea, Facts On File, p. 242
  5. ^ Kang, Jin-Kyu. "Gay rights get a negative spin at fourth presidential debate". Joongang Daily.
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External links

  • Official website
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