1981 South Korean presidential election

Two-stage presidential elections were held in South Korea in February 1981. An electoral college was elected on 11 February, which in turn elected the president on 25 February. They were the last indirect presidential elections controlled by the government of Chun Doo-hwan under the new 1980 constitution. Chun was re-elected with 90% of the electoral college vote.

1981 South Korean presidential election

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Presidential election
25 February 1981

5,277[a] members of the Electoral College
2,639[a] electoral votes needed to win
  Chun Doo-hwan 1983 (cropped).JPEG
DKP
Nominee Chun Doo-hwan Yu Chi-song
Party Democratic Justice Democratic Korea
Electoral vote 4,755 404
Popular vote 9,250,262 1,778,007
Percentage 60.71% 11.67%
Electoral College election
11 February 1981
Turnout78.1%
Party Leader % Seats
Democratic Justice Chun Doo-hwan 60.71 3,667
Democratic Korea Yu Chi-song 11.67 411
Korea Nationalist Party Kim Chong-cheol 1.15 49
Civil Rights Party Kim Eui-taek 0.82 19
Independents 25.66 1,132
This lists parties that won seats. See the complete results below.

South Korean presidential election 1981.svg
Electoral College vote

President before election

Chun Doo-hwan
Democratic Justice

Elected President

Chun Doo-hwan
Democratic Justice

BackgroundEdit

Rising to prominence as the leader of the military after the assassination of former military dictator of South Korea Park Chung-hee, Security Commander Chun Doo-hwan successfully forced Park's successor Choi Kyu-hah to step down from the presidency and became president himself through the indirect elections of 1980.

He then revised the Constitution on 27 October 1980. The revised constitution was slightly less authoritarian than its predecessor. Among other things, it changed the presidential election system. Although it was still an indirect election by the electoral college, opposition candidates were now allowed to enter. However, this had no effect on the political landscape. Chun had jailed most prominent opposition politicians, including former NDP chairman Kim Young-sam, 1971 NDP presidential nominee Kim Dae-jung, and former prime minister Kim Jong-pil.

Presidential nominationsEdit

The Democratic Justice Party (DJP) National Convention was held on 15 January at Jamsil Gymnasium in Seoul. At the convention, 3,162 delegates from around the nation nominated the sitting President Chun Doo-hwan without a vote.[1]

The Democratic Korea Party (DKP) National Convention was held on 17 January at the Sejong Center for Performing Arts in Seoul. Yu Chi-song, a former 3-term lawmaker from Gyeonggi, was nominated as the party's candidate for president.

The Korea Nationalist Party (KNP) National Convention was held on 23 January at the Sejong Center for Performing Arts, and saw Kim Chong-cheol, a former five-term lawmaker from South Chungcheong, nominated.

The Civil Rights Party National Convention was held on 23 January at the Cheondo Hall; Kim Eui-taek, a former four-term lawmaker from South Jeolla was chosen as the party's candidate.

Other political parties including the Democratic Socialist Party, the Socialist Party and the New Politics Party announced they would not be participating in the elections as they were not capable of finding viable candidates for president or the electoral college.[2][3]

Electoral College nominationsEdit

Region Available seats Candidates nominated
DJP DKP KNP CRP DSP Independents
Seoul 856 753 199 18 29 0 482
Busan 324 277 66 3 5 0 153
Gyeonggi 670 713 221 8 16 0 252
Gangwon 299 293 82 12 3 0 206
North Chungcheong 256 270 74 18 5 1 105
South Chungcheong 465 428 121 34 9 0 173
North Jeolla 407 387 95 05 619 0 220
South Jeolla 606 516 118 29 6 0 386
North Gyeongsang 755 664 88 1 0 0 626
South Gyeongsang 587 578 97 9 9 0 322
Jeju 53 49 4 0 0 0 26
Total 5,278 4,928 1,165 137 101 1 2,951
Source: Central Administration Committee

Electoral College electionEdit

According to official figures, 78.1% of registered voters voted, and gave Chun's DJP a supermajority of 3,667 seats in the electoral college, 69.5 percent of the total. The DJP won three times as many seats as independent candidates, and nine times as many seats as the largest opposition party, the Democratic Korea Party.

PartyVotes%Seats
Democratic Justice Party9,250,26260.713,667
Democratic Korea Party1,778,00711.67411
Korea Nationalist Party174,7081.1549
Civil Rights Party124,2150.8219
Democratic Socialist Party8250.010
Independents3,909,82625.661,132
Total15,237,843100.005,278
Valid votes15,237,84397.68
Invalid/blank votes361,4092.32
Total votes15,599,252100.00
Registered voters/turnout19,967,28778.12
Source: Central Administration Committee

By regionEdit

Region DJP DKP KNP CRP DSP Nonpartisans Total
Votes % Seats Votes % Seats Votes % Seats Votes % Seats Votes % Seats Votes % Seats Votes Seats
Seoul 1,918,215 56.5 551 540,552 15.9 137 29,647 0.9 4 48,868 1.4 7 0 0 0 857,442 25.3 157 3,394,724 856
Busan 799,981 63.8 234 148,403 11.8 33 9,397 0.7 2 4,491 0.4 0 0 0 0 291,745 23.3 55 1,254,017 324
Gyeonggi 1,361,727 69.0 545 283,184 14.4 44 12,297 0.6 3 17,937 0.9 3 0 0 0 297,622 15.1 75 1,972,767 670
Gangwon 523,467 64.2 240 75,430 9.3 4 15,716 1.9 3 1,932 0.2 0 0 0 0 199,444 24.4 52 815,989 299
North Chungcheong 423,375 65.8 207 77,118 12.0 13 20,920 3.3 3 3,993 0.6 0 825 0.1 0 117,071 18.2 33 643,302 256
South Chungcheong 669,381 63.0 338 133,964 12.6 42 35,604 3.3 10 8,121 0.8 0 0 0 0 216,173 20.3 75 1,063,248 465
North Jeolla 607,747 62.6 291 106,700 11.0 26 4,552 0.5 0 24,520 2.5 6 0 0 0 227,064 23.4 84 970,583 407
South Jeolla 763,293 52.2 351 160,666 11.0 51 34,406 2.3 20 6,120 0.4 1 0 0 0 498,328 34.1 183 1,462,813 606
North Gyeongsang 1,249,107 57.5 449 125,530 5.8 26 803 0.0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 797,702 36.7 280 2,173,142 755
South Gyeongsang 815,478 62.1 420 116,802 8.9 34 11,366 0.9 4 8,233 0.6 2 0 0 0 361,358 27.5 127 1,313,237 587
Jeju 118,491 68.1 41 9,658 5.5 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 45,872 26.4 11 174,021 53
Total 9,250,262 60.7 3,667 1,778,007 11.7 411 174,708 1.1 49 124,215 0.8 19 825 0.0 0 3,909,821 25.7 1,132 15,237,838 5,278
Source: Central Administration Committee

Electoral College voteEdit

In order to be elected, a candidate had to receive the vote of over 50% of the incumbent members of the Electoral College. Of the 5,277 electors who were elected on 11 February and had not been removed from office (one member was removed in Busan), this meant 2,639 votes were needed to win. Sitting president Chun Doo-hwan was re-elected by a landslide on 25 February with 4,755 votes, 90.11% of the total possible. However, the DJP's supermajority in the electoral college meant Chun's election was all but assured.

CandidatePartyVotes%
Chun Doo-hwanDemocratic Justice Party4,75590.23
Yu Chi-songDemocratic Korea Party4047.67
Kim Chong-cheolKorea Nationalist Party851.61
Kim Eui-taekCivil Rights Party260.49
Total5,270100.00
Valid votes5,27099.98
Invalid/blank votes10.02
Total votes5,271100.00
Registered voters/turnout5,27799.89
Source: Central Administration Committee

By regionEdit

Region Chun Yu Kim C. Kim E. Abstentons Invalid Total
Seoul 703 133 11 8 1 0 856
Busan 285 33 3 0 2 0 323
Gyeonggi 620 43 4 3 0 0 670
Gangwon 292 4 3 0 0 0 299
North Chungcheong 238 14 4 0 0 0 256
South Chungcheong 406 41 18 0 0 0 465
North Jeolla 369 25 3 7 2 1 407
South Jeolla 521 51 28 6 0 0 606
North Gyeongsang 723 29 2 0 1 0 755
South Gyeongsang 546 30 9 2 0 0 587
Jeju 52 1 0 0 0 0 53
Total 4,755 404 85 26 6 1 5,277
Source: Central Administration Committee

AftermathEdit

The term of the newly elected president officially began on the day the electoral votes were cast and counted, 25 February. The inauguration ceremony took place on 3 March. This marked the official beginning of the Fifth Republic of Korea, a dictatorial regime that lasted until democratization in 1988.

NotesEdit

  1. ^ a b 5,278 electors had been elected, but DJP elector Kim Chang-sik of Busan was removed due to eligibility problems.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ 책갈피 속의 오늘 1981년 민정당, 전두환 총재 추대] Donga, 15 January 2009
  2. ^ 민한당, 17일에 창당대회 JoongAng Ilbo, 15 January 1981
  3. ^ 민정당 선거인우보 48.6%로 가장많아 JoongAng Ilbo, 6 February 1981