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Kuk Hoe (National Assembly)

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Parliament name (generic / translated) Kuk Hoe / National Assembly
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Structure of parliament Unicameral
Affiliation to the IPU Yes
Affiliation date(s) 1964 -
President Hee-Sang MOON (M) 
Notes Elected on 13 July 2018.
Secretary General Yoo, Ihn-tae (M) 
Notes Appointed on 16 July 2018.
Members (statutory / current number) 300 / 300

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Women (current number) 51 (17.00%)
Mode of designation directly elected 300
Term 4 years
Last renewal dates 13 April 2016
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Address National Assembly
1 Uisadang-daero Yeongdeungpo-gu
SEOUL 150 701
(Export mailing lists)
Phone (822) 788 22 68
788 24 78
Fax (822) 788 33 47
E-mail IPU@assembly.go.kr


Parliament name (generic / translated) Kuk Hoe / National Assembly
Structure of parliament Unicameral
Electoral law 4 March 1994
Last amendment: 3 March 2016
Mode of designation directly elected 300
Constituencies - 253 single-member district constituencies
- 1 multi-member (47 seats) national constituency
Voting system Mixed: - simple majority direct vote in the 253 single-member constituencies.
- proportional representation for 47 seats. These seats are divided proportionately among the political parties based upon their votes obtained in the districts, on condition that they have obtained at least 3% of the total valid votes cast or secured five district constituency seats or more.
Vacancies of district constituency seats arising between general elections are filled through by-elections, on condition that there remains at least one year in the term of the Assembly member to be replaced. Vacancies of proportional representation seats are filled by the "next-in-line" candidates of the political party concerned.
Voting is not compulsory.
Voter requirements - age: 19 years
- Republic of Korea citizenship
Eligibility Qualified electors
- age: 25 years
- Republic of Korea citizenship
Incompatibilities - State and local public servants (except those who are legally allowed to take part in political activities)
- President of the Republic, members of local legislatures, adjudicators of the Constitution Court, members of National Election Commission
- employees and senior managers of government invested companies
- employees and senior managers of the National Agricultural Co-operative Federation and the National Federation of Fisheries Co-operatives
- teachers not allowed to join political parties (others shall temporarily drop the title and return to schools when the term is over).
Candidacy requirements - support of 300 to 500 voters in the constituency (for independent candidates)
- monetary deposit of 15 million won, which is reimbursed in full if a district constituency candidate obtains at least 15% of the valid votes cast. Only half the amount is reimbursed if he/she receives over 10% but less than 15% of the votes. Deposits can be reimbursed to candidates running for proportional representation seats if his/her party obtains at least one seat.


Parliament name (generic / translated) Kuk Hoe / National Assembly
Structure of parliament Unicameral
Dates of election / renewal (from/to) 13 April 2016
Timing and scope of renewal The Minjoo Party of Korea (see note 1) created a surprise by defeating President Park Geun-hye's Saenuri Party by a one-seat margin, winning 123 seats in the 300-member National Assembly. The Saenuri Party ceased to be the largest parliamentary force for the first time since 2000 (see note 2). The People's Party, a new party established in February 2016 by former school dean Ahn Cheol-soo, fared well, taking 38 seats.

The 2016 elections took place amid anxiety over an economic slowdown and rising youth unemployment. During the election campaign the major parties focused on economic issues, job creation and welfare projects. The elections were held shortly after the UN Security Council strengthened sanctions on the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) in response to a nuclear test in January and the use of ballistic missile technology in February. The major parties focused on national security issues, in particular policies towards the DPRK.

Note 1:
In March 2014, the Democratic Party (formerly the Democratic United Party, DUP, which took 127 seats in the 2012 elections) and the New Political Vision Party merged to form the New Politics Alliance for Democracy. In December 2015, the Alliance was renamed as the Minjoo Party of Korea. The Minjoo Party's interim leader, Mr. Kim Chong-in, was formerly President Park's chief election campaigner and economic advisor, but joined the Minjoo Party in January 2016, criticizing the government's economic policies.

Note 2:
The predecessor of the Saenuri Party, the Grand National Party, became the largest parliamentary force in 2000, taking 133 of the 273 seats at stake.
Date of previous elections: 11 April 2012

Date of dissolution of the outgoing legislature: 29 May 2016

Timing of election: Upon normal expiry

Expected date of next elections: April 2020

Number of seats at stake: 300 (full renewal)

Number of candidates: 1,102*
*944 (844 men, 100 women) under the majority system and 158 under the proportional representation system

Percentage of women candidates: 10.6% for the majority system.

Number of parties contesting the election: 14 (under the PR system)

Number of parties winning seats: 4

Alternation of power: No*
*Presidential system.

Number of parties in government: 1

Names of parties in government: Saenuri Party

Date of the first session of the new parliament: 30 May 2016

Name of the new Speaker: Mr. Chung, Sye-kyun (Minjoo Party of Korea)
Voter turnout
Round no 113 April 2016
Number of registered electors
Blank or invalid ballot papers
Valid votes
24'430'746 (58.03%)

Distribution of votes
Round no 1
Political group Candidates Votes % of votes
Minjoo Party of Korea
Saenuri Party
People's Party
Justice Party
Distribution of seats
Round no 1
Political Group Total of seats
Minjoo Party of Korea 123
Saenuri Party 122
People's Party 38
Independents 11
Justice Party 6
Distribution of seats according to sex


Percent of women


Distribution of seats according to age
Distribution of seats according to profession
National Assembly (14.04.2016, 12.05.2016, 09.06.2016)

Note on the distribution of seats:
The number of seats won by the Minjoo Party of Korea includes the Speaker. In accordance with the Act of the National Assembly, the Speaker may not belong to any party during his term in office.


Parliament name (generic / translated) Kuk Hoe / National Assembly
Structure of parliament Unicameral
Title Speaker of the National Assembly
Term - duration: 2 years
- the term of the Speaker elected for the first two years begins the day of election and ends two years after the commencement of his or her term as an MP
- the Speaker elected for the second half of the legislature remains in office until the term of the pertaining Assembly expires
- in case of accident, the Deputy Speaker designated by the Speaker shall act on his/her behalf. In case of vacancy, a by-election shall be held
Appointment - the Speaker shall be elected by the National Assembly through a vote
- the first election of the Speaker is held at the first plenary sitting after a general election, not exceeding 7 days after the commencement of a new legislature
- the second election is held 5 days before expiration of the term of the first Speaker
Eligibility - any Member may be a candidate
Voting system - formal vote by secret, usually in one round
- if the Assembly fails to elect the Speaker in the first round, a second vote shall be held and if the second vote fails to produce a winner, then the final vote shall take place where the candidate with the largest number of votes, in the presence of more than half the membership, is elected the Speaker
Procedures / results - the most senior Member presides over the Assembly during the voting for the first election, for the second election, the outgoing Speaker presides over the Assembly
- the most senior Member or the presiding Speaker and a few Members appointed as ballot inspectors supervise the voting
- the most senior Member or the presiding Speaker announces the results immediately after the voting
- the results cannot be challenged
Status - ranks next to the Head of State, at the official ceremony
- represents the Assembly at home and abroad.

Board - the Steering Committee of the National Assembly consists of 24 representative Members appointed by the Speaker upon request of the representative Members of each negociation group; term of the office is 2 years
- meetings are held, more than once a month

Material facilities - Official passport
- salary and additional allowance
- official residence
- official car
- 18 staff
- body guards
Organization of parliamentary business - convenes sessions
- organizes proceeding of meetings
- sets speaking time (strictly limited)
- refers texts to a committee for study
- decides which standing committee takes charge of an issue that does not fall under the jurisdiction of any particular committee
- designates the chairman of the Whole House Committee.
Chairing of public sittings - can open, suspend and adjourn sittings
- ensures respect for provisions of the Constitution and Standing Orders
- makes announcements during plenary sessions
- invokes the Speaker's 'Power of Guard' and asks the police to restore order if necessary
- establishes the list of speakers, gives and withdraws permission to speak
- establishes the order of amendments to be put to a vote
- calls for a vote, decides how it is to be carried out, verifies the voting procedure but he cannot cancel the result
- checks the quorum
- authenticates the adopted texts and the records of debates
- interprets the rules or other regulations governing the life of the Assembly
Special powers - appoints and dismisses the Secretary General, the Librarian and theChief of the National Assembly Budget Office in consultation with representative of negotiation groups or the House Steering Committee,
- appoints, overseas and dismisses public servants working for the legislature
- establishes the Assembly's budget plan with the consent of the House Steering Committee and submits it to the Government
- approves the expenditure of the reserve funds of the National Assembly
- proposes plans to appoint three justices of the Constitutional Court and three members of the National Election Commission
- asks the Board of Audit and Inspection to inspect a certain administrative agency
- requests the Goverment to dispatch policement with the consent of the House Steering Committee in necessary.
Speaking and voting rights, other functions - may take the floor in legislative debates
- reserves the right to vote


Parliament name (generic / translated) Kuk Hoe / National Assembly
Structure of parliament Unicameral
Nature of the mandate Free representation
Start of the mandate From the day following the expiration of the preceding legislature
Validation of mandates
End of the mandate 4 years after the start of the mandate
Can MPs resign? Yes
Can MPs lose their mandate ? Yes - If found to be holding a concurrent job prohibited under the law.
- If found to be exercising the authority of one's previous job after the
commencement of one's duties.
- If one loses the right to stand for elections.
- If the court nullifies the election or its result.
- If the National Assembly decides to dismiss the assemblyman.
- If the National Assembly disqualifies the assemblyman after screening.
- If a lawmaker elected through the proportional representation system changes his/her party affiliation or leaves the original party.
Rank in hierarchy
Indemnities, facilities and services - Stipends, incentives, and allowance for legislative activities
- Car maintenance expenses
- 6 aides and secretaries
- 2 interns for inspection of the administrative affairs
- Free use of national transportation means such as railroads, ships, and airlines
(Provided that the National Assembly is in session)
Obligation to declare personal assets Yes
Parliamentary immunity - parliamentary non-accountability - Stipulated by the Article 45 of the Constitution
- Parliamentary non-accountability is limited to words spoken or written by MPs and votes cast within Parliament.
- Can be subjected to ethical investigation and disciplinary measures within the National Assembly.

Parliamentary immunity - parliamentary inviolability - Stipulated by the Article 44 of the Constitution
- An assemblyman shall not be arrested or detained without the consent of the National Assembly except in the case of flagrant offenses.
- Applies only to criminal proceedings.
- The National Assembly may request lawmakers arrested or detained before the opening of the session to be freed.
Training - Provides study meetings and training course to newly elected MPs
- Provides handbooks for reference
- Collection of Proceedings of the National Assembly
- Collection of Interpretation of the National Assembly Act
- Collection of the Precedents of the National Assembly
Participation in the work of the Parliament - MPs are obliged to be present at plenary sittings and committee meetings.
- An MP can face disciplinary measures if he/she fails to fulfill one's duties to attend meetings within 7 days since the convocation without any justifiable cause.
Discipline o Stipulated by the National Assembly Act
(Paragraph 2 of the Article 155, Article 163)
o Disciplinary measures foreseen (types of discipline)
- Warning at an open meeting
- Apology at an open meeting
- Suspension of attendance for a period not exceeding thirty days
- Expulsion
o Major reasons for discipline
- Committing an act contrary to the provisions of Duty of Integrity, Prohibition of Grafting and Prohibition from Speaking such as contempt.
- Allowing others to inspect, transcribe, or reproduce confidential or non-
published materials for the sake of national security.
- Publishing the contents of a closed meeting.
- Causing disturbance in the chamber and disobeying the orders of the Speaker or committee chairmen.
- Failure to attend plenary or committee meetings without any justifiable reason within seven days from the convocation day or within five days after receiving a written request for attendance.
- Receiving two or more warnings from the Special Ethics Committee for violating the assemblymen's ethical principle and the assemblymen's ethical practice regulations.
Code (rules) of conduct o Stipulated by the Article 155 (1) of the National Assembly Act, the assemblymen's ethical principle, and the assemblymen's ethical practice regulations.
o Penalties foreseen for violation of the code of conduct
- Receiving two or more warnings from the Special Ethics Committee for violating the assemblymen's ethical principle and the assemblymen's ethical practice regulations.
o Competent body to judge & impose penalties
- Competent body to judge violation: Special Ethics Committee
- Competent body to impose penalties: Plenary meetings
Relations between MPs and pressure group - There is no legal provision in this field although a regulation does exist that forbids MPs from engaging in interest-seeking activities.

This page was last updated on 18 July 2018
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