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  Kuk Hoe
Dates of election / renewal (from/to):
  15 April 2004
Purpose of elections:
  Elections were held for all the seats in Parliament on the normal expiry of the members' term of office.
Background and outcome of elections:
  On 2 April 2004, campaigning began for the general elections due on 15 April 2004. The electoral campaign got under way after months of political confrontation that culminated on 12 March with the impeachment of President Roh Moo Hyun. Since he was impeached, Mr Roh's powers were suspended until a decision by the Constitutional Court was taken.

Three opposition parties, the conservative Grand National Party (GNP), the former ruling Millennium Democratic Party and the rightwing United Liberal Democrats, pushed the impeachment vote in the National Assembly to oust the reformist President, on charges of election law violations, incompetence and corruption. Mr Roh was accused of infringing an election law requiring public officials to maintain neutrality by publicly supporting the Uri Party, a new party which was formed in October 2003 by reformist legislators loyal to him. This party is a breakaway group of the former ruling Millennium Democratic Party (MDP), to which Mr Roh had belonged before resigning in September 2003. The President was also tainted by allegations that his closest aides and family members had taken up to US$10 million in illegal election funds, although opposition aides are accused of having taken even more money.

The President's impeachment, the first one since the founding of South Korea in 1948, polarized the country's politics and sent tens of thousands of demonstrators into the streets condemning the vote by the National Assembly as a "parliamentary coup".

Ahead of the general elections, the National Election Commission (NEC) issued a series of new regulations in order to ensure a free and fair exercise. The practice of providing meals and entertainment to woo voters was thus punishable with fines worth 50 times the value of the gifts. The National Election Commission also banned massive outdoor campaign rallies. Instead, it took steps to provide voters with more chances to obtain specific information about the candidates, forcing candidates to submit details on their educational and career background, personal assets, tax returns, military service records and criminal records, all of which were published on the NEC Website after tabulation.

According to the National Election Commission, some 1,150 candidates from 25 parties were registered to participate in the race. Some 59.9 per cent voters turned out, up from the previous election's 57.2 per cent.

Final results showed that the pro-government Uri Party had obtained 152 seats of the 299 in the National Assembly. The Uri Party's emergence came at the expense of the main opposition Grand National Party, which will no longer command a simple majority as it obtained only 121 seats. The Progressive Democratic Labour Party made its debut with 10 seats, in a sharp contrast with the Millennium Democratic Party, which was reduced to a minor party with a mere 9 seats.

On 14 May 2004, Mr Roh was reinstated after the Constitutional Court rejected two of the impeachment counts against him and ruled that the third one (violation of electoral neutrality) was insufficient grounds for his removal from office. Some days later, on 20 May, the President joined the Uri Party.

The 17th National Assembly held its opening ceremony on 7 June 2004.
Round no 1 (15 April 2004): Election results
Number of registered electors 35'596'497
Voters 21'580'944 (60.63%)
Blank or invalid ballot papers 250'174
Valid votes 21'330'770
21,330,770 is the amount of the Valid Votes in Majority direct vote. The Valid Votes of proportional representation amounts to 21,285,984. The difference comes from the mixed system of Korean parliamentary elections.
Round no 1: Distribution of votes
Political Group Candidates Votes Proportional % Proportional  
Uri Party 8'145'824 38.30  
Grand National Party 7'613'660 35.80  
Democratic Labour Party (DLP) 2'774'061 13.00  
Millenium Democratic Party (MDP) 1'510'178 7.10  
United Liberal Democrats (ULD) 600'462 2.80  
Independents 522'053 2.40  
National Alliance 21 119'746 0.60  
Round no 1: Distribution of seats
Political Group Total Proportional Majority
Uri Party 152 23 129
Grand National Party 121 21 100
Democratic Labour Party (DLP) 10 8 2
Millenium Democratic Party (MDP) 9 4 5
United Liberal Democrats (ULD) 4 0 4
Independents 2 0 2
National Alliance 21 1 0 1
The Uri Party was formed in 2003 by former members of the Millennium Democratic Party (MDP).

One more female MP was elected at the by-elections held on 26 October 2005, bringing the total number of women to 40.
Distribution of seats according to sex:
Men: 260
Women: 39
Percent of women: 13.04
Distribution of seats according to age:
31 to 40 years 23
41 to 50 years 106
51 to 60 years 121
61 to 70 years 48
Over 70 years 1
Distribution of seats according to profession:


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